Smokey Bear Turns 65!

4:38 PM, Aug 25, 2009   |    comments
Smokey Bear
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Tallahassee, Florida -- Smokey Bear is celebrating 65 years of preventing forest fires, and he made an appearance with the Governor and Cabinet this afternoon.

Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson recognized Smokey Bear as the longest-running national campaign for wildfire prevention.

"I just think it's a great program that has managed to improve over time and is still working today and it's just one of the great programs the U.S. Forest Service has brought out since 1944," said Bronson.

Wildfire experts said 90 percent of national wildfires are caused by humans. In Florida, they said that percentage is closer to 70 percent, with lightning being the second leading cause.

"Its message is as relevant today as it was in 1944. In an average year in Florida, wildfires threaten 2,871 homes, damage 132 homes and destroy 40 homes every year," explained Bronson.

A handful of Floridians received awards from Smokey Bear for their distinguished wildfire service.

And the Agriculture Commissioner wanted to make sure Floridians understand it's "Smokey Bear" and not "Smokey The Bear." 

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