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Smokey Bear Birthday Challenge

June 14, 2019

Baton Rouge, La. (June 14, 2019) – Smokey Bear turns 75 August 9, 2019. The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) is taking part in a social media challenge to throw Smokey a pre-birthday bash.

“When you’re everyone’s favorite bear, you deserve to party all year long! Funny thing is, Smokey doesn’t look like he’s aged one bit,” said Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M.

According to the U.S. Forest Service, Smokey Bear was born when the Forest Service and Ad Council decided a fictional bear would be used as the symbol to promote forest fire prevention. In 1947, Smokey’s slogan became “Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires!”

In 1950, a bear cub was caught in a burning forest in New Mexico. The bear found refuge in a tree but was badly burned. Firefighters who rescued the bear named him Smokey. The bear was given a new home at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. until his death in 1976. He also played an important role in messaging that promoted wildfire prevention and forest conservation.

The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and Commissioner Mike Strain are challenging the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management to throw Smokey the next party.

Check out the party festivities here: The video can also be viewed at