On Saturday, August 10, 2019 the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Friends of Fort Vancouver, and the National Park Service will be celebrating Smokey Bear’s 75thbirthday at the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center.  Kids and their families are invited to this free event for fun activities, historic Smokey videos, wildfire prevention safety and, of course, wish Smokey Bear a happy birthday in person.  Come enjoy a piece of birthday cake with Smokey to celebrate this milestone birthday.

Smokey’s birthday will be held at the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center at 1501 E. Evergreen Blvd. from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  Smokey Bear-themed items and national forest recreation maps will also be for sale in the Friends of Fort Vancouver bookstore.  Kids will also be able to become U.S. Forest Service Junior Rangers.

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 zip code!

Fort Vancouver Visitor Center is operated in cooperation between Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, and the Friends of Fort Vancouver.  It is open Tuesday- Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.