Pat Shingleton: "Only YOU Can Prevent..."
It's been a tough season for wildfires in the West and Pacific Northwest. The Carlton Complex Fire in Seattle is still burning. Lighting sometimes causes these fires. In 1945 Albert Staehle drew a uniformed bear with a name inspired by New York City fireman, "Smokey Joe" Martin, becoming Smokey Bear. In 1947, Smokey's trademark slogan, "Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires," was added with Washington disc jockey Jackson Weaver as the voice of Smokey. As noted in a previous column, in 1948, Forest Service artist, Rudy Wendelin presented the renderings of the fire prevention bear and The Smokey the Bear Act was passed by Congress, regulating the commercial use of the name and image; becoming the most popular symbol in the United States in 1952.