SANTA CLARITA — Smokey Bear will celebrate his 50th birthday today by having a road in the Angeles National Forest named after him during a celebration at Pyramid Lake.
The road, about one-tenth of a mile long, will be dedicated at 11 a.m. followed by a public ceremony from noon to 2:30 p.m., said John Damann, a fire prevention officer with the U. S. Forest Service.
The road currently is called Hungry Valley Road, but officials decided to rename it because the public was mistaking the Golden State Freeway exit for the Hungry Valley Recreation Area several miles to the north in Gorman.
"Since Smokey's 50 years old this year, it's being renamed in recognition of his 50 years of firefighting prevention," Damann said.
Eight signs will be placed along the Golden State Freeway directing motorists to the road, Damann added.
The public can meet the stern critter, best known for the slogan, "Only you can prevent forest fires," at the Vista Del Lago visitors' center at the lake, about 60 miles north of Downtown Los Angeles.
Firefighting equipment and an exhibit depicting Smokey Bear's history will be featured.
Winners of a children's Smokey Bear poster contest will also be announced.