Smokey Bear turns 70 Saturday

WATERSMEET – The U.S. Forest Service will host a birthday celebration for Smokey Bear’s 70th birthday and provide critical information about wildfire prevention.

The celebration will be held at the Ottawa Visitor Center in Watersmeet from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Central time, on Saturday, Aug. 9.

Since his birthday on Aug. 9, 1944, Smokey Bear has been a recognized symbol of conservation and protection of America’s forests.

His message about wildfire prevention has helped to reduce the number of acres lost annually to wildfires, from about 22 million (1944) to an average of 6.7 million annually today.

U.S. Forest Service staff includes three firefighters based at the Watersmeet office, as well as many other staff trained and ready to assist with firefighting when needed. Several firefighters will assist with Smokey’s birthday event at the Visitor Center.

Smokey’s birthday party will include children’s games, fire equipment on display, fire prevention education, Smokey Bear videos, and pictures with Smokey Bear. Lunch and birthday cake will be provided, courtesy of the Conserve School and the Ottawa Interpretive Association.

For more information on Smokey Bear’s birthday, contact Shawn Brown at 906-932-1330 extension 304.