Pat Shingleton for Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The weekend wildfire in the Angeles National Forest is known as the Powerhouse Fire. It scorched 30,000 acres. Occasionally these fires are caused by lightning. In 1945, Albert Staehle drew a uniformed bear with a name inspired by New York City firefighter “Smokey Joe” Martin, becoming Smokey Bear with no “the” in the middle. In 1947, Smokey’s trademark slogan, “Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires,” was added with Washington disc jockey Jackson Weaver as the voice of Smokey. As noted in a previous column, in 1948, U.S. Forest Service artist Rudy Wendelin presented the renderings of the fire prevention bear and The Smokey the Bear Act was passed by Congress, regulating the commercial use of the name and image. It became the most popular symbol in the United States in 1952. Fastcast: Hot.