In case you haven’t heard, it’s Smokey Bear’s 75th birthday.

And the Tuolumne County Library celebrated Friday morning during story hour.

About 40 children and their parents and guardians showed up for the party; some even waiting for the doors to open at 10 a.m.

Kids rushed to the arts tables in the children's section to make birthday cards with markers, stickers, glitter and glue.

Stanislaus National Forest Ranger Molly Day and Cal Fire Tuolumne Calaveras Unit Public Information Officer Emily Kilgore told the story of Smokey Bear.

They said long ago, Smokey was found in a forest fire with burned paws and forever would be the mascot for the Forest Service with his warning: “Only you can prevent forest fires.”

Day and Kilgore used a felt board adding trees, wildlife and children to talk about fire protections and Smokey Bear. They taught the children a song about not using matches and lighters.

Then the big moment arrived: Smokey himself. They sang “Happy Birthday” and lined up for a hug.

Outside in the Heaven for Kids Park were fire trucks and games. Four tents were set up — Adventist Health Sonora handed out coloring books, The Stanislaus National Forest rangers talked about fire protection and handed out goody bags with Smokey Bear masks, flying disks and other trinkets, Cal Fire had goodies like wristbands, fire hats, fake tattoos, and pop-out phone holders.

At the American Red Cross tent, children learned about Stop Drop and Roll used when clothing catches on fire.

Children tried on fire gear, sat in fire trucks, and learned how to use a backpack pup to spray water.

Cal Fire Tuolumne Calaveras Unit firefighters cooked hot dogs on a barbecue.

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