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Smokey’s Birthday!

Join us at this free family celebration at the Western Montana Fair Grounds starting on Wednesday, August 7th through Sunday, August 11th. There will be a Smokey Bear hot air balloon launch on Friday, August 9th at 7:00am from Sentinel High School’s Stegner Field (directly adjacent to the fair grounds and Playfair Park).

The Smokey Bear hot air balloon will be 97’ tall and airborne (starting at 7:00am) during the early morning hours when the cool morning air will allow for flight. The Smokey Bear Balloon is owned by a non-profit corporation dedicated to assisting federal, state and local agencies with wildfire prevention education. It requires a crew of 12-15 personnel to set it up and inflate it, and chase crew personnel to ensure a safe landing.

Balloon facts:
•The balloon holds 145,000 cubic feet of air
•It is 97 feet tall (including the basket)
•The diameter at the hat brim is 72 feet
•The total balloon weight is 1,130 pounds

Smokey himself will make appearances at the Western Montana Fair and invites all Western Montana residents and visitors to come join the celebration during his birthday week!

This event is brought to you by the USDA Forest Service, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, the US Bureau of Land Management, and the Missoula County Fire Protection Association.




  • Address: Sentinel High School 901 and 1101 South Ave W. Missoula, MT 59801 United States