Smokey Bear Celebrates 75th Birthday in Long Lake!

The Town of Long Lake Parks and Recreation Department partners with the NYS DEC Forest Rangers in the region to coordinate efforts to celebrate Smokey Bears 75th Birthday in and around Long Lake on Friday, August 9th!  Considering his age, Smokey stays in good shape by working out, shoveling and educating the public about Forest Fire Prevention.  Smokey Bear says he is able to maintain his youthful appearance from the positive energy he garners from working with children and good folks all over the country.

Look for Smokey Bear to stop by area businesses on Friday, August 9th, 2019 after 2 p.m.  In Long Lake Smokey Bear will be handing out trinkets and birthday knick-knacks to children and help spread the word about Forest Fire prevention.  Stops slated include The Park Long Lake, The Long Lake Town Beach, the ADK Trading Post, Lake Eaton Campground and then finishing up in Blue Mountain at Durant Lake Campground.  

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that DEC is participating in events across the state this month to celebrate Smokey Bear’s 75th anniversary. DEC is teaming up with the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, the National Association of State Foresters, and the Ad Council to celebrate 75 years since the 1944 launch of the Smokey Bear Wildfire Prevention campaign, the longest-running public service advertising campaign in U.S. history.

Smokey Bear has successfully educated generations of Americans about how we can all help prevent wildfires,” Commissioner Seggos said. “We invite all New Yorkers to join us and celebrate this national icon at events across New York State this summer. Smokey’s words are still an urgent and relevant reminder for all of us to follow – Only YOU can prevent wildfires.'”

Smokey Bear was “born” on August 9, 1944, when the Forest Service and the Ad Council agreed on using a fictional bear to serve as the symbol for their joint effort to promote forest fire prevention during World War II. Roughly nine out of 10 forest fires are caused by humans. Wildfires can be deadly and destructive, and the national annual cost of their consequences can range anywhere from $71.1 to $347.8 billion, according to recent study by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Last year’s Camp Fire in northern California destroyed the city of Paradise and killed more than 80 people, making it the nation’s deadliest wildfire in more than a century.

New York State has 18.5 million acres of public and private forest lands susceptible to seasonal wildfires, and DEC’s Forest Rangers are the state’s lead division tasked with forest fire mitigation and the control and prevention of wildfires. In 2018, DEC Forest Rangers extinguished 105 wildfires that burned a total of 845 acres. For more information about the Forest Rangers, go to DEC’s website.

 

Fun Facts You Didn’t know About Smokey Bear.

The “the” was added to his name to match a song’s rhythm.

Though his name is technically Smokey Bear, many grew up calling him Smokey the Bear. There was good reason, namely the popular song “Smokey The Bear.” The tune was written in 1952 by Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins. The musicians added a “the” to his name to fit with the song’s rhythm. This minor change has caused confusion ever since.

On a July morning in 1922, a case of magnesium powder exploded in a warehouse in New York’s Greenwich Village. The resulting fire was devasting, legendary. The conflagration claimed the life of a heroic firefighter named “Smokey” Joe Martin.

Two decades later, on August 9, 1944, the first Smokey Bear poster appeared. The bear was named in honor of “Smokey” Joe, and his first piece of public service artwork depicted the animal in his iconic hat, dousing a fire with a bucket of water.

This week marks the 75th birthday of Smokey Bear. Over the years, Smokey has grown into an American icon. He’s an educational star of commercials, cartoons, toys, posters and more. Let’s dig into the life of this honorable bear. And remember… “Only you can prevent forest fires.”

Schedule Subject to change without notice due to weather and or need for search and rescue operations.  There is no “set” schedule.  Just keep your eyes peeled for the NYS DEC Ranger Truck! 

Long Lake