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Superior National Forest celebrates 75 years of Smokey Bear

Superior National Forest is celebrating Smokey Bear's 75th anniversary of successful wildfire prevention messaging.

"Though Smokey's message has evolved through the years to reflect the severity of wildfires and a change in fire management policy, his call to take personal responsibility when it comes to wildfire prevention has endured," the Forest Service said in a news release.

In 1944, Smokey Bear first appeared on a forest fire prevention poster pouring water on an escaped campfire. It said: "Smokey Says — Care will prevent 9 out of 10 fires." His famous catch-phrase, "Only you can prevent forest fires," was introduced three years later.

Smokey Bear's message changed in 2001 to "Only you can prevent wildfires" to reflect the Forest Service's change in approach to fire from fire control to fire management.

"Fire as a management tool is part of the Superior National Forest's holistic approach to restore and maintain a healthy forest," the release said. "It involves collaboration across the landscape with federal, tribal, state, local governments, non-government organizations and private landowners. Special authorizations and funds provided through the Farm Bill, stewardship contracts, Joint Chief's Projects and the Good Neighbor Authority support the 'all hands, all lands' approach."

For information about the Superior National Forest's prescribed fires this season, visit fs.usda.gov/superior. Notifications about active fires are posted on www.lnciweb.