Rebooted Smokey’s Giving Bear Hugs

The updated Forest Service icon now embraces campers who avoid wildfires.

With furloughs and pay freezes in the news, feds could be forgiven for not showing a lot of love these days. But that isn’t stopping one of America’s most recognizable federal employees from doubling down on good feelings.

Smokey Bear, who’s spent decades warning America’s campers to beware of sparking wildfires is now handing out hugs on top of those stern warnings, according to a new ad campaign debuted in the New York Times on Thursday.

The ad shows Smokey giving a “bear hug” to a camper who’s followed the proper procedure for ensuring a fire is out before leaving his campsite.

The new campaign also has a Twitter hash tag: #SmokeyBearHugs.

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