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Located north of the Lincoln National Forest, the village of Capitan is in Lincoln County, New Mexico. The village was founded in the 1890s and incorporated in 1941. In the spring of 1950, a badly burned bear cub was rescued from a large forest fire at Capitan Gap in the Capitan Mountains. The cub was named Smokey, and became the real-life version of the U.S. Forest Service mascot, Smokey Bear. After the bear’s death in 1976, his remains were buried at Smokey Bear Historical Park in Capitan.



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