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Smokey was rescued from the nearby Capitan Mountains as a small cub after a devastating wildfire. He was initially treated by Ray Bell and then taken to Santa Fe, NM where Dr. Edwin Smith doctored him back to health. Smokey was then flown to the Washington DC Zoo for the remainder of his life. After his death from natural causes, his body was returned to Capitan, NM and he is buried in the Smokey Bear Historical Park. 

History of Smokey Bear Hometown Association

The mission of Smokey Bear Hometown Association is to encourage awareness and appreciation of Smokey Bear's Fire Prevention Message, to raise money to assist in the promotion and improvement of the Smokey Bear Historical Park. 

Image courtesy of Forest Historical Society

Smokey Bear has promoted Fire Prevention since 1944, however catastrophic wildfires continue to ravage both public and private lands, most of which are created by humans. From 2001-2017 approximately 300 millions acres have been burned due to wildfires.

Image courtesy of Forest Historical Society

Founded by a group of dedicated Capitan residents, the Smokey Bear Hometown Association was formed in 2005 as a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to continue Smokey's work. The Association conducts various fundraising activities to enhance the Smokey Bear Historical Park. One of which is the family fun event: Smokey Bear Days event conducted the first weekend in May.

An example of their efforts resulted in the commission of the New Mexico Wildlands Fallen Firefighters Memorial that recognizes the lives lost in fighting the fires that threaten our national forests and wildlands.

If you are interested in becoming a Hometown Association member or believe in their cause and want to donate, please reach out to the individuals listed below.


Remember Smokey's message...."Only you can prevent forest fires".

Get in Touch for Donations or to Volunteer

Linda Norton        575-631-6964

Shirley Pavlovic    575-937-3551

Public Service Announcements for Smokey Bear:

Image courtesy of USDA Forest Service

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