Smokey The Bear 75th & Crystal River

Crystal River Joe Meek poses with Smokey Bear and Florida Forestry Service Center Manager Keith Mousel during City Council's Monday meeting to proclaim Aug. 9 as Smokey's 75th birthday.

Crystal River and the Florida Forest Service came together to celebrate Smokey Bear’s 75th birthday and push to prevent wildfires.

Joe Meek, Crystal River’s mayor, joined Smokey and Keith Mousel, forestry’s center manager, before city council’s Monday meeting to proclaim Aug. 9 as the bear’s birthday and the city’s continued partnership with the state agency.

“Smokey Bear has dedicated himself to educating Americans of all ages and particularly America’s youth, the future guardians of our wildlands, about wildfire prevention,” Meek said. “... Crystal River is devoted to changing the public’s behavior to prevent unwanted human wildfires.”

“It takes all of us through education,” forestry spokeswoman Judi Tear said. “We really appreciate your support and this effort to reduce wildfires in our area.”

Contact Chronicle reporter Buster Thompson at 352-564-2916 or

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