Logo bar of the Alaska Public Lands Information Centers which are located in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Tok and Ketchikan
A wet brown bear searches for a tasty salmon.
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Smokey Bear
A 1940's Smokey Bear poster.
Forest Service

What Started Smokey Bear and Fire Prevention
The USDA Forest Service tradition of preventing man-made forest fires started during World War II, when timber was a precious resource for armed forces. The Forest Fire prevention campaign has helped to reduce acres lost, due to forest fires, from 22 million (in 1944) to 6.5 million annually today.

Timeline of Smokey Bear

  • 1944- The Forest service used Bambi, a Disney motion picture as a subject in fire prevention posters
  • 1945- Bambi was replaced by a cartoon of smokey bear, illustrated by Albert Staehle. 
  • 1950- Smokey became a live symbol when forest fire fighters rescued a bear cub from a fire in the Lincoln National Forest near Captain, New Mexico. He was later moved to the National Zoo in Washington D.C. where he lived for 26 years.
  • present- Smokey still works hard to teach about fire safety and responsibility instead of fire prevention. This is because the Forest Service often sets controlled fires to restore the conditions in the area!

Remember- Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires!

Smokey Bear Neighbor PSA

Smokey Bear- Bambi (1964)

Note: This Embedded video resides on the official USFS and Smokey Bear YouTube channel

Two sockeye salmon ready for spawning. The fish have red bodies with green heads and tails. The background shows a rocky stream bed. Did You Know?
Alaska has the longest salmon run in the world. The salmon swim 2,000 miles up the Yukon River every year.