Smokey Bear celebrates 78th birthday

Smokey Bear and his birthday cake. Photo via Smokey Bear's Facebook.
Smokey Bear and his birthday cake. Photo via Smokey Bear's Facebook.(Stephen DeLadurantaye)
Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 5:38 PM EDT
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ISHPEMING, Mich. (WLUC) - It’s Smokey Bear’s 78th birthday.

Created in 1944, the Smokey Bear Wildfire Prevention campaign is the longest-running public service advertising campaign in U.S. history, educating generations of Americans about their role in preventing wildfires.

Darley Newman, host of Travels with Darley on PBS, and representatives from the USDA Forest Service hosted a birthday party for the beloved bear. They swapped stories about Smokey and even answered questions from the public on Facebook Live.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says Smokey’s message is as pertinent today as it was in 1944.

“In Michigan, nine out of ten wildfires are caused by humans in one way or another,” said John Pepin, DNR deputy public information officer. “Everything from vehicles and railroad trains to debris burning and campfires or people smoking. There are a lot of ways that people can prevent forest fires.”

Remember, only you can prevent wildfires.

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