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      Smokey spends birthday doing what he does best

      A national icon is turning 70. Smokey Bear, known for spreading wildfire awareness has hit the big milestone. Smokey was out celebrating his big day Saturday afternoon at Van Riper State Park in Michigamme Township. While there was plenty of fun and cake, educating children about wildfires was still a top priority.

      "It's certainly the easiest to start them early. When they start to understand that wildfires can be a bad thing and that sometimes carelessness with matches, or smoking, and things like that, some of that stuff can pose a large problem," said Debra Gill, Lead Ranger at Van Riper State Park.

      The festivities started with a parade, followed by a presentation of Somkey's friends, and of course the kids learned facts about wildfires as well. Smokey visits Van Riper State Park every year, but today was a little more special because of the big milestone.