Smokey Bear keeps an eye on Hill City

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Did you know that Hill City is the home of the largest Smokey Bear statue in the world?

Brothers Jarrett and Jordan Dahl are known around the Black Hills for their amazing works in wood. Recently in Keystone, Jarrett built the largest wooden Big Foot statue, 22.5 ft., but now Jordan has one-upped his brother by creating the largest Smokey the Bear statue.

Smokey stands 30-feet tall and was completed in ten days. The team was a collection of wood artists from around the country….Alaska, California, Kentucky, North Carolina and Wisconsin, and they loved being apart of the construction.

“It’s like being 10 years old again,” said head artist Abby Peterson. “You know, you go out, you get your buddies together. You’re out in the woods, you’re using what you got to build a tree fort. We’re just grown kids, building our tree fort in the woods, and really, it’s a beautiful thing.”

Hill City leaders say they’re honored to have the largest statue in town. The school district is the only one in the country to be given the privilege of using Smokey Bear as a mascot, following the forest fire of 1939.

Categories: ConnectCenter1-Culture and Art, Local News, South Dakota News