Celebrate Smokey Bear’s Birthday in Vancouver Saturday, August 11

On Saturday, August 11 the U.S. Forest Service, Friends of Fort Vancouver, and the National Park Service will be celebrating Smokey Bear’s 74th birthday at the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center at 10:00 a.m.  Kids and their families are invited to this free event for fun activities, historic Smokey video clips, learn about wildfire prevention and, of course, wish Smokey Bear a happy birthday in person.

Smokey’s birthday will be held at the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center at 1501 E. Evergreen Blvd. where the Gifford Pinchot National Forest shares an information desk with Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.  Smokey Bear-themed items and national forest recreation maps will also be for sale in the Friends of Fort Vancouver bookstore.

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 private zip code!

While at the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center be sure to check out a special exhibit, Gifford Pinchot National Forest Adventures.  The visitor center also offers exhibits about Fort Vancouver’s long history, orientation films, contemporary local Native American art, books, maps, and gifts.  Fort Vancouver Visitor Center is open Tuesday- Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.