Smokey Bear celebrates 70th birthday in Idyllwild

If you are looking for something to do with the kids today, hop in the car and take a trip to Idyllwild.

The U.S. Forest Service will celebrate Smokey Bear’s 70th birthday and teach attendees about wildfire prevention in Idyllwild from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

The Smokey Bear Wildfire Prevention campaign is the longest-running public service advertising campaign in U.S. history

“Guests to the birthday party can sign a card at the Idyllwild Ranger Station,” said Forest Service Spokesman John Miller.

In August 1944, artist Albert Staehle painted a poster of a bear pouring a bucket of water on a campfire and saying, ”Care will prevent 9 out of 10 fires.” In 1947, the slogan became, ”Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires”, in 2001, it was modified to ”Only You Can Prevent Wildfires,” in response to an outbreak of fires in natural areas other than forests.

Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell said, “Smokey’s message of personal responsibility continues to be as critical and relevant now as ever.”

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