Smokey Bear turns 75 years old this year and to celebrate historical portraits of Smokey that are traveling across the country to be on display, according to County 17.

Currently, the exhibit is at the Centennial Visitor Center on Highway 30. Rudolph Wendelin is the artist behind the amazing portraits that are on display. Rudolph has hundreds of portraits representing national resource conversation and wildlife prevention. Plus, the way he was able to capture Smokey and make him almost life-like in the portraits is something you have to see in person. The exhibit will be in Centennial until July 7th. If it wasn't for Rudolph, Smokey would not have a hat, jeans, and a shovel.

Smokey Bear came about during World War II as a way to encourage the public to prevent fires and to protect the country's wooded areas. In 1942, the U.S. Forest Service created the Cooperative Forest Fire Prevention (CFFP) program, two years after that program started they adopted Smokey as their mascot and his infamous phrase, "Only you can prevent forest fires."

If you would like to see this exhibit in person, you can. Starting July 15th and going until July 28th the Bureau of Land Management will be hosting the exhibit at the state museum in Cheyenne.

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