Smokey Bear Celebrates 75th Birthday

August 10, 2019

Friday, the  Florida Forest Service joined the nation in celebrating 75 years of Smokey Bear, the face of the longest-running public service advertising campaign in United States history, continuing his legacy of bringing awareness to unwanted, human-caused fires.

“Wildfire prevention remains one of the most critical issues in our state,” said Jim Karels, state forester and director of the Florida Forest Service. “Florida’s climate creates a unique challenge for our year-round wildfire season, making it imperative for us to educate Floridians and visitors alike on the importance of Smokey Bear’s message.”

Smokey Bear’s wildfire prevention campaign has had a dramatic impact since its introduction in 1944. Progress continues today with an approximate 14 percent reduction in the average number of human-caused wildfires from 2011-2018, compared to the previous 10 years.

While his work has been successful, more than 75% of all wildfires in Florida are caused by human carelessness, which means Smokey’s message remains relevant. Since January, the Florida Forest Service has responded to 1,295 wildfires that have burned over 87,200 acres in our state.

Pictured: A 75th birthday party for Smokey Bear Friday at the Blackwater Forestry Center. Escambia County is part of the Blackwater district. Photo for, click to enlarge.


8 Responses to “Smokey Bear Celebrates 75th Birthday”

  1. Chuck on August 12th, 2019 12:07 am

    Yes, I remember it well…..

  2. tg on August 11th, 2019 7:54 pm

    He was last seen in Gulf Breeze Proper.

  3. Grey Bear on August 11th, 2019 2:55 pm

    It’s Smokey Bear, not Smokey “the” Bear. You don’t say Santa “the” Clause. The word “the” was put in to make the song of Smokey rhyme and sound better.

    Just saying.

  4. anne 1of2 on August 11th, 2019 11:46 am

    No candles on his cake! I love it!

  5. Denise on August 11th, 2019 12:15 am

    Smokey the Bear is and always will be my hero

  6. nod on August 10th, 2019 5:19 pm

    Smokey the bear and always will be.

  7. Clifford Huffman on August 10th, 2019 12:23 pm

    Does he want a 6-pack of Charmin for his birthday?

  8. mat on August 10th, 2019 8:49 am

    So how does Smokey Bear eat his own cake?

Have a comment on this story?

We welcome your comments on this story, but there are some rules to follow::

(1) Be Nice. No comments that slander another, no racism, no sexism, no personal attacks.

(2) No Harrassing Comments. If someone says something bad about you, don't respond. That's childish.

(3) No Libel. That's saying something is not true about someone. Don't do it.

(4) Keep it clean. Nothing vulgar, obscene or sexually related. No profanity or obvious substitutions. Period.

(5) reserves the right to remove any comments that violate our rules or we think to be inappropriate. We are not responsible for what is posted. Comments may not appear right away until they are approved by a moderator.

(6) Limit your comments to the subject in this story only, and limit comments to 300 words or less. Do not post copyrighted material. Comments will not be added to stories that are over 30 days old.

(7) No posts may advertise a commercial business or political group, or link to another commercial web site or political site of any kind.