U.S. Forest Service celebrates Smokey Bear turning 75

MISSOULA- Smokey Bear celebrated his 75th birthday Saturday with cake, games, friends, and of course wildfire prevention.

Smokey Bear is the longest running public service announcement in history.

75 years of reminding the public, “Only you can prevent forest fires.”

Saturday, Smokey, fire leaders, and the public gathered to remember this message.

"You give kids the right message about what to do with fire in the woods. Kids are fascinated by fire and they are interested by it and they like to go camping and be by a campfire but it's also important to impress on them the importance of putting the fire out when they are done,” Missoula Smokejumper, Scott Jones said.  

Not only did kids, families, and other attendees get to learn more on the ecology of fire, they also had some fun while doing it.

U.S. Forest service officials say 75 years later, Smokey and his wildfire prevention message, are just as crucial.

"It's as relevant today as it was 75 years ago, the unwanted human caused fires are still not what we want out there on the landscape. Yes, fire prevention is in the top of our priority so Smokey Bear is a great way to help us get that fire prevention message out,” Public Affairs Specialist for the Nez Perce and Clearwater National Forest, Greg Goodland said.

Leaders in attendance say they look forward to Smokey's next 75 years of service.

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