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      Kearney Museum Celebrates Smokey The Bear's 70th Birthday

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      A Kearney museum celebrates one of the most popular faces of fire prevention and safety.

      Smokey the Bear turned 70 on Saturday and to celebrate, the Nebraska Firefighters Museum hosted a birthday bash in his honor.

      The iconic figure was first used to spread the word to prevent forest and wildfires, but has since evolved to general fire prevention.

      Officials say a birthday party is a great way for kids to learn about something so serious.

      "It makes fire safety fun, it makes it fun for the kids, they learn it easy -- that's why it's so important," said museum director Ali Abler. "He's a fun guy, he's great to be with kids, so it allows kids to learn in a fun atmosphere."

      Saturday's event included entry into the museum, which included a special Smokey the Bear traveling exhibit.

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