FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 12, 2019
Smokey Bear’s 75th birthday party Aug. 15;
NH an event leader in national campaign
Smokey Bear is gearing up for his New Hampshire birthday party at Franconia Notch State Park on Aug. 15 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., after having spent much of the spring and summer sharing his wildfire prevention message with children and adults at events across the state.
As part of his 75th birthday celebration, Smokey’s appearances at public libraries, the New Hampshire Veterans Home, the N.H. Farm and Forest Expo, Discover Wild New Hampshire Day, a N.H. Fisher Cats game, several county fairs, old home day festivities, parades and other events have helped raise awareness about the importance of wildfire prevention.
Each day in August, the N.H. Forest Protection Bureau is posting images of from its Smokey memorabilia collection on its Twitter account, @NHForestRangers, along with the hashtag #NHLovesSmokey. The bureau is asking people to post their own favorite Smokey Bear pictures to social media and to include that same hashtag.
At Smokey’s Aug. 15 party, attendees will be able to enjoy free tethered rides on the Friends of Smokey Bear hot air balloon (weather permitting), ride the Cannon Mountain tramway with Smokey, play games, enjoy live fiddle music by the Fiddling Thomsons and share some birthday cake with Smokey Bear. A food vendor will provide barbeque items at a nominal cost.
New Hampshire is a leader for the number of events currently listed on the national Smokey Bear 75th birthday website, smokeybear75th.org, with only Texas and Wisconsin listing more scheduled events than the Granite State.
New Hampshire, the second most-forested state in the country, experiences an average of 250 wildfires per year, burning 250 acres. Nationally, with 90 percent of wildfires caused by human involvement, remaining vigilant about wildfire prevention, providing early detection and coordination of suppression efforts is essential in mitigating the damage that wildfires can cause not only to forests, but also to homes, businesses and lives.
Smokey Bear began as a print campaign designed by the War Ad Council during World War II, when experienced firefighters were overseas and the public was called upon to help reduce wildfire risks. Expanded over the decades to include outreach through radio, television, internet and more, it remains the longest-running public service advertising campaign in U.S. history.
Smokey’s Aug. 15 New Hampshire birthday party is sponsored by the N.H. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, the N.H. Division of Forests and Lands, the N.H. Division of Parks and Recreation, the Northeastern Forest Fire Protection Commission and the N.H. State Council on the Arts.
Anyone interested in learning more about wildfire prevention is encouraged to contact their local fire department or the N.H. Forest Protection Bureau. Information is also available from the National Fire Protection Association’s Firewise Communities website: firewise.org.
Part of the N.H. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, the Division of Forests and Lands protects and promotes the value provided by trees, forests and natural communities. For more information about the Division of Forests and Lands and the work of its Forest Protection Bureau, visit nh.gov/nhdfl or call 603-271-2214.