Smokey Bear turns 70, but don't bring candles

Aug 8, 2014 12:14 PM by News Staff

Smokey Bear is turning 70 on Saturday - but don't bring any candles to the party, please.

As the friendly, huggable bear with the brimmed hat and shovel enters his golden years, he's burning up Twitter. But his message of fire prevention through personal responsibility hasn't changed that much.

Smokey was created in 1944, when TV was in its infancy.

Now, he has more than 300,000 friends on Facebook and 24,000 Twitter followers.

Smokey's classic slogan - "Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires" - changed to "Only You Can Prevent Wildfires" in 2001.

That's because wildfires in urban areas were becoming a bigger threat than remote forest fires.

There will be a birthday celebration for Smokey Bear on Saturday in Willows, the event will run from 10 a.m. to noon at the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex located at 752 County Road 99W.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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