Trailside Talk: Smokey the Bear

After recovering from his burns in Santa Fe, Smokey Bear was flown in a Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser airplane to the National Zoo in Washington, DC, where he lived for 26 years. Smokey received so many letters the US Postal Service granted him his own postal code. Public domain photo.

Many people of a certain age have a special affection for Smokey Bear (or Smokey the Bear, as he has also been called). I remember reading Smokey’s story—how he was rescued from a wildfire in New Mexico in 1950 and became the symbol of fire awareness in the woods for generations. Posters and signs showing […]