April 29, 2015

State of Alabama
Press Release: Forestry Commission, Alabama

Smokey Bear to Fly Over South Alabama

      The big guy is back! The “Smokey Bear” hot air balloon, returning to Alabama for the first time since 2012, will join balloonists from across the country as floating works of art grace the skies of south Baldwin County at the Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival in Foley on Friday, May 1 and Saturday, May 2.

      The spectacular 145,000 cubic foot, 97-foot tall special-shaped balloon is making an appearance courtesy of the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC), in cooperation with the Friends of the Smokey Bear Balloon, Inc. In addition to Smokey delivering his message of preventing unwanted wildfires during the two-day event, AFC employees will be on hand to demonstrate the services provided by the Commission to citizens of the state.

     Each time the Smokey Bear Balloon appears, it stimulates the imagination and curiosity of younger generations, while reminding older generations – familiar with Smokey Bear's history – of wildfire lessons of the past. No matter where they are seen, the Smokey Bear Balloons have touched the hearts of every child and adult as evidenced by tears, cheers, and applause.

     The mission of the Alabama Forestry Commission is to protect and sustain Alabama’s forest resources using professionally applied stewardship principals and education, ensuring that the state’s forests contribute to abundant timber and wildlife, clean air and water, and a healthy economy. To learn more about the AFC, visit www.forestry.alabama.gov. Friends of the Smokey Bear Balloon Inc., is a non-profit corporation dedicated to assisting federal, state, and local agencies to educate and convey messages to prevent human-caused wildfires through the use of Smokey Bear balloons and the accompanying trailer which provides opportunities for special exhibits, presentations, and demonstrations to gather support for forest conservation.

  • For more information, visit http://forestry.alabama.gov
  • For more state-wide press releases, click here