“Remember, only YOU can prevent forest fires!” Thanks, Smokey the Bear! I think Smokey and the cute cartoon boy can agree that we definitely don’t want our forests to end up as “nothing for anybody.”
Smokey has been educating the public about the danger of forest fires since 1944, but this memorable slogan was created by the Ad Council in 1947. Since then, he has become a nationwide symbol of fire safety and the lead figure of this mass campaign.
No one can argue about how memorable this campaign is. The Ad Council found that 3 out of 4 adults can recall the message without aid. Also, since 1944, the total number of acres burned annually has decreased from 22 million to 6.8 million acres. Good work Smokey!(Click here to compare 1947 Smokey to the Smokey in 2011. Different right?) Did you know? There actually was a real Smokey the Bear. He was an American Black Bear cub who had survived a forest fire. The bear was named after the campaign and became a national sensation-- with tourists visiting him at the National Zoo. Unfortunately, he died in 1976, but his title as mascot was passed on to another orphaned bear, previously known as “Little Smokey.”