The REAL Smokey Bear
The cartoon Smokey appeared in 70 years ago in 1944 as part of a larger wildfire prevention program, but the story of the real Smokey Bear began in 1950 in New Mexico’s Capitan Mountains. Smokey was just a cub when he was rescued by soldiers who had been sent in to help fight the forest fire burning in the mountains. The story of the little cub spread far and wide, resulting in stays with several state and federal agencies. He was finally turned over to the Forest Service with the understanding that Smokey would be used for publicizing forest fire prevention.