The mascot for the U.S. Forest Service turns 69 years old today. Smokey Bear hasn’t retired. He’s still hard at work, educating people about the dangers of forest fires. The Kisatchie National Forest will celebrate by throwing Smokey a birthday party in Alexandria. Kisatchie’s public affairs specialist Amy Robertson says Smokey was created in 1944, during World War II, when there was a lack of manpower on the home front.
“When there were wildfires, it was so hard to put them out because there weren’t enough men around to do that. So, the message of wildfire prevention was very, very important, and that’s when Smokey was created," Robertson said from her office in Pineville.
Smokey’s 69th birthday party will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9, at Brocato’s Restaurant in Alexandria. Smokey will be there, cutting his cake and of course not missing a moment to distribute literature on how to prevent wildfires.