A Salute to Smokey The Bear
Capitan, Lincoln County, New Mexico

Click here to see Smokey's Memorial

Lincoln County is Smokey the Bear Country!!

The Village of Capitan in Lincoln County has a unique history. On May 4, 1950, a discarded cigarette started the Los Tablos blaze in the Lincoln County Forest. On May 6, another fire started in Capitan Gap. These fires destroyed 17,000 acres and generated 70 MPH winds! On May 9, 1950 a fire crew found a injured little bear cub. His mother had been killed by the fire. Smokey was flown to Santa Fe for treatment. He was soon named Smokey.

Let's go back to 1944. The forest Service had a project to protect forests. They had a poster featuring Smokey the Bear. That was the first Smokey. But when our Smokey The Bear from Lincoln County recovered, he was sent to Washington, D.C. A new era began in the effort to protect forests from unwanted fire. Over the next few years, millions of children all over the world read about Smokey. Smokey was a true hero. Smokey died November 9, 1976 at the age of 26. He is now and shall always be the hero of Lincoln County, New Mexico and the world.

Smokey The Bear born ca. April 1950, died November 9, 1976 

Click to see Smokey's Grave  One  Two  Three