GORHAM — Smokey Bear will celebrate his 75th birthday along with N.H. Forest Ranger Jason Hunter at the Gorham Public Library today at 2 p.m. The public is welcome to meet Smokey and help him celebrate his 75th year raising awareness about wildfire prevention.

Smokey Bear began as a print campaign designed by the War Ad Council during World War II. As one of the most forested states in the country, New Hampshire, which has relied on its forests as an economic driver for more than 150 years, has a strong relationship with Smokey.

On average, New Hampshire experiences about 250 wildland fires each year, which burn an average of 250 acres. Another 200 to 300 illegal fires occur each year that are extinguished before they turn into a wildland fire. Wildland fire control is achieved through prevention, training, early detection, careful pre-planning, hazard mitigation and suppression. Smokey and the N.H. Forest Protection Bureau are leaders in this work.

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