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Smokey Bear, fire prevention icon in US, set to turn 75

Birthday parties are scheduled to take place this week in honor of Smokey Bear.
Smokey Bear celebrates 75 years of forest fire prevention. (Photo: Facebook / Smokey Bear)

CAPITAN, N.M. (AP) — Smokey Bear, the icon of the longest-running public service campaign in the U.S., is set to turn 75 years old.

Birthday parties are scheduled to take place this week across the country in honor of the bear used to promote forest fire prevention.

Smokey Bear was born on Aug. 9, 1944, when the U.S. Forest Service and the Ad Council agreed that a fictional bear would be the symbol for a fire prevention campaign.

A badly burned cub found in the aftermath of a fire in New Mexico's Capitan Mountains later became Smokey Bear.

Smokey Bear hosted a PSA Watch Party on Facebook on Aug. 2 to look back on 75 years of promoting forest fire prevention.

The following birthday parties are scheduled in Indiana:

  • Smokey's 75th Birthday-Fire Safety Fun: Friday, Aug. 9 at the Gibson Woods Nature Preserve in Hammond
  • Smokey Bear Junior Firefigher Celebration: Saturday, Aug. 10 from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. at the Paul H. Douglas Center for Enviornmental Education in Gary
  • Hoosier Hardwood Festival & Expo + Lumberjack Competition: Friday, Aug. 23 in Cloverdale

Find more events nationwide at smokeybear75th.org.