Smokey Bear Turns 75

Firefighters Battle Blaze Near Lake Tahoe

Smokey Bear is turning 75. The idea behind the iconic bear that sports a wide-brimmed hat started in 1944 shortly after Japanese submarines surfaced near Santa Barbara in Southern California and fired shells into the Los Padres National Forest. The first picture of Smokey was of him pouring water onto a campfire with the first incarnation of his famous slogan, which later turned into "only you can prevent wildfires." Officials say that humans cause over 60-thousand wildfires each year nationwide.

Photo: Getty Images

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