The iconic Smokey Bear turns 70 Saturday, (Aug. 9th). According to the U.S. Forest Service, Smokey Bear was born on August 9, 1944.
Smokey has served as the face of fire prevention with his signature phrase, "only you can prevent forest fires."
This is a photo of the original Smokey Bear, oprhaned in a 1950 forest fire in the Capitan Mountains of New Mexico, (photo courtesy of U.S. Forest Service archives). Smokey had taken refuge in a tree during a forest fire and was badly burned when firefighters rescued him.
In Klamath Falls on Saturday, the Fremont-Winema National Forest is holding a public celebration for Smokey's birthday at Miller Lake's Digit Point Campground. Smokey will be there to greet everyone.
Smokey event coordinator Heidi Ratliff says, "this is a free event for kids of all ages." The party goes from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. Children will be able to take part in the Junior Forest Ranger program and each will get their own free Smokey Bear goody bag.
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