Smokey Bear turns 74

August 9, 2018

On Smokey Bear’s 74th birthday, it’s time for a refresher about preventing forest fires.

The fictitious Smokey Bear was born on Aug. 9, 1944, when the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service and Ad Council decided a fictional bear named Smokey could lead the country in forest fire prevention information.

The first poster of Smokey Bear was painted by artist Albert Staehle.

And on his 74th birthday, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection reminded residents: “Only you can prevent forest fires.”

The DEEP Forest Fire Control Office said every resident and non-resident using Connecticut’s parks, forests and open spaces should obey local laws about open fires, properly dispose of hot charcoal and always extinguish smoking materials.

From mid-March through May is when Connecticut traditionally has high forest fire danger.

DEEP’s Division of Forestry monitors the state’s forest fire danger to help protect the 1.8 million areas of Connecticut’s forested land. Forest fire danger levels are ranked at low, moderate, high, very high and extreme.

On average, about 500 acres of Connecticut woodland are burned by forest fires.

A daily forest fire danger report is posted at https://bit.ly/1iB9ZC0.

Visit https://bit.ly/2vQQqFH for information about open burning in Connecticut.

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