The 1942 movie Bambi (see the fire scene above) and a 1964 public service announcement featuring Smokey Bear and Bambi (below), influenced a couple of generations, making it difficult for the public to think of fire in the forest as anything other than a terrible menace that to be defeated, prevented, or immediately suppressed at any cost. The struggle to accept prescribed fire as a legitimate forest management practice continues to this day.
The video above shows some historical examples of how Smokey Bear has appeared in public service announcements.
Below is a new version of a Smokey Bear song.
The original Smokey Bear song was the genesis of a misunderstanding of Smokey’s middle name: “The”. A songwriter added it because he thought it was needed in the phraseology of the music. But Smokey does not have a middle name. He is SMOKEY BEAR.
Employees of the Huron-Manistee National Forest in Michigan teamed up with employees of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to make a Smokey Bear ice sculpture for the 2015 North American Snowmobile Festival in Cadillac. U.S. Forest Service photo.
And speaking of Smokey, here is a classic poster from the 1990s.
Sunday morning between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m. a thief with a chain saw made several cuts with the saw to remove the six feet tall image of Smokey Bear, weighing between 35 and 40 pounds, from a fire prevention sign in Vernon, Wisconsin.
And speaking of Smokey, here’s a throwback image of President Dwight D. Eisenhower holding a Smokey doll. It appears that Smokey is wearing a shirt — usually he is naked from the waist up. Either that or he has a badge pinned directly to his chest.