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Did you know? It's Bertie Beaver’s 65th birthday

It's National Forest Week, but also, the 65th birthday of Alberta's wildfire prevention mascot, Bertie Beaver.
Bertie Beaver has represented wildfire prevention and awareness in Alberta for 65 years. It was1958, when Walt Disney introduced Bertie Beaver to what was then the Alberta Forest Service. Photo Facebook.

 Over the years, Bertie Beaver has been the face of wildfire prevention in Alberta. The big, fuzzy mascot's image has appeared on aircraft, rock wall murals, wildfire posters, buttons, pins, forest maps, recreation area signs, student activity books, and has even been a plush toy and puppet.

Bertie has marched in countless community parades, visited hundreds of schools, and has hugged and “high five-d” tens of thousands of children. His enthusiasm for promoting forest conservation and environmental education values in Alberta has never faded, according to the Alberta Wildfire Facebook page.

On Bertie's 65th, Minister of Forestry and Parks Todd Loewen said, "Bertie was gifted to Alberta Wildfire 65 years ago by Walt Disney as a thank you for wildlife documentaries filmed in the Kananaskis region, and he has been a champion of Alberta’s wildfire prevention efforts ever since."

As this is also National Forest Week, Loewen also thanks everyone at Alberta Wildfire for hard work through a particularly challenging wildfire season.

“Bertie, Alberta Wildfire and all who call this province home share the responsibility of maintaining and enhancing the health of our forests for the benefit of present and future generations of Albertans.