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Aug 10, 2014 1:50 AM by Connie Tran, KSBY News

SLO Co. Cal Fire celebrates Smokey Bear's 70th birthday

Smokey Bear turned 70 years old on Saturday. San Luis Obispo County Cal Fire teamed up with Los Padres National Forest officials to throw Smokey a birthday bash in Santa Margarita.

Dressed in a ranger's hat and blue jeans, he's been the recognized wildfire prevention symbol since 1944. Other than the president, Smokey Bear is the only other individual in the nation to have his own zip code. Smokey was at the fire house in Santa Margarita on Saturday morning, spreading his personal story.

"So Smokey, I was reading in your book, the story of your life, it's quite a life. I understand you were born in a forest and there was a tragic fire that burned through there and many firefighters got burned and you got burned," said Cal Fire Chief Robert Lewin.

Firefighters saved Smokey that day, and ever since, he has been reminding people "only you can prevent wildfires."

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