Important Smokey Bear Message – Happy Birthday!
70 Years Old and Still Important for a Private Tour Message
Smokey Bear‘s initial advertising campaign to urge national park visitors to exercise caution with their campfires and cigarettes began on August 9, 1944. Before that a campaign employing Walt Disney Production‘s characters from the animated motion picture Bambi served the U.S. Forest Service in their public service announcements targeting fire prevention. But the Disney characters were only on loan for a year so a new character was developed. The bear character was named in honor of “Smokey” Joe Martin, a heroic New York City fireman injured in a courageous rescue in 1922. Over the years Smokey Bear has become a national icon seen in forests and woodlands everywhere around the country. The Angeles National Forest occupies 700,000 acres bordering the city to the north and we travel in those mountains regularly on our private Los Angeles tour heading up to Mt. Wilson above Pasadena. Throughout California woodlands will burn during our “fire season,” fires generally caused by lightning strikes. However, Smokey’s message is still needed to reduce the number of other fires set accidentally by people. Celebrating the exact same birthday as Smokey Bear is Sam Elliott who has also been the voice of Smokey since 2008.