Celebrate Smokey Bear’s 74th birthday Aug. 9-11 (updated)

Smokey Bear gets a "bear hug" from a group of children

PORTLAND, Ore. Aug. 8, 2018National Forests will host birthday parties around the country this week to celebrate Smokey Bear’s 74th birthday. Local celebrations will include children’s parties Aug. 9 in Klamath Falls and Lakeview Ore., and Aug. 11, at Fort Vancouver, Wash. and in Bend, Ore.

The Fremont-Winema National Forest invites kids of all ages to attend one of two celebrations for Smokey Bear’s birthday Party Aug. 9, in Klamath Falls, Ore. or at 1 p.m. in Lakeview, Ore.

In Klamath Falls, the party begins at 10 a.m. at the Moore Park Picnic Shelter, located close to Upper Klamath Lake. Moore Park is located off Lakeshore Drive. (You can find more information and directions here).

In Lakeview, the party will be at the park located next to the swimming pool at Center and D Streets, beginning at 1 p.m.

The Deschutes National Forest and Discover Your Forest invite the public to celebrate Smokey Bear’s 74th birthday on Saturday, August 11th, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Cascade Lakes Welcome Station, located at 18390 Century Dr. (off the Cascades Lakes scenic byway) in Bend, Ore.

Located just past mile post seven on the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway, the Cascades Welcome Station serves as a gateway to some of the most popular trails and lakes on the Deschutes National Forest. The Welcome Station offers recreation passes, local area maps, guidebooks and other educational materials, as well as, parking and access to Phil’s and Wanoga mountain biking trails systems.

The Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Friends of Fort Vancouver, and National Parks Service will also host their celebration Saturday, August 11th, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Fort Vancouver Visitors Center (1501 E Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver, Wash.).

The Fort Vancouver Visitor Center serves both Gifford Pinchot National Forest and the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. The visitor center has exhibits about Fort Vancouver’s long history, a Gifford Pinchot National Forest Adventures exhibit, orientation films, contemporary local Native American art, and offers recreation passes, maps, books and gifts for purchase.

Festivities at both locations will include activities, wildfire prevention information, and pictures with Smokey.

The real Smokey Bear was a little cub saved by firefighters during a wildfire in New Mexico.  His paws were badly burned when he clung to a smoking, burned out tree. News of the little bear’s rescue spread quickly across the nation and soon became a national icon for promoting fire safety and wildfire prevention.  He received so many gifts of honey and an outpouring of mail that he was assigned his own zip code.

“For more than 70 years Smokey Bear has served as an inspiration and reminder to be careful with fire and anything that can throw a spark in the forest,” Lisa Swinney, a spokesperson for the Fremont-Winema National Forest, said. “We are so excited to celebrate Smokey Bear’s birthday, as well as to share his valuable message of fire prevention.”

For more information about activities, volunteer opportunities and other events on Your Northwest Forests, check out our calendar! It’s at https://yournorthwestforests.org/calendar/.

A Forest Service employee and Smokey Bear wave to the photographer while posed in front of a Forest Service fire truck.

Katijo Maher and Smokey Bear (Matt Robinson) prepare to represent the Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest during the Skykomish Centennial June 4, 2009. USDA Forest Service photo.

“Only YOU Can Prevent Wildires.”  – Smokey Bear

Source information: Deschutes National Forest and Gifford Pinchot National Forest public affairs staff.

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