Smokey Bear celebrated its 75th birthday in the Hudson Valley.

On Aug. 3, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Ranger Robert Stratton and Assistant Forest Ranger Travis Acuna attended a 100-year anniversary for the Balsam Lake Fire Tower in the Town of Hardenburgh.

Visitors were able to climb the tower and hear about the history of the area, officials say.

During the celebration, another celebration was held, this one for the 75th anniversary of Smokey Bear.

Smokey Bear made an appearance at the Balsam Lake Fire Tower in Ulster County, posed for photos and welcomed visitors.

According to the DEC, Smokey Bear was "born" on August 9, 1944, when the Forest Service and the Ad Council agreed on using a fictional bear to serve as the symbol for their joint effort to promote forest fire prevention during World War II.

Roughly nine out of 10 forest fires which can be deadly and destructive are caused by humans, officials say. The national annual cost of wildfires ranges from $71.1 to $347.8 billion, according to recent study by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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