'Alaskan Bush People' Star Bear Brown Pens 68th Birthday Tribute to Dad Billy Brown: 'The Best Man I've Ever Known'

The Alaskan Bush People family is honoring dad Billy Brown on his 68th birthday! As the Brown family patriarch rang in another year Thursday, son Bear shared a touching tribute to his father on his private Instagram account alongside a stoic portrait of the Discovery star. "I'd like to wish my Dad a very happy birthday!!!!!" he wrote in the caption, adding in text over the photo, "I'd like to say Happy Birthday to my Dad! The best Dad, The best Granddad, The best man I've ever known!"

It's been a tough year for the Brown family, which had to evacuate their remote Washington homestead due to the rash of wildfires that swept up the California coast over the summer. In October, Snowbird and Rain Brown told PopCulture they were still not able to return home, but they were aware of some damage they'd have to repair when they were able.

"It’s definitely been crazy — a lot has happened. ...We are currently still evacuated," Bird said at the time, calling a timeline for their return home "pretty much up in the air," despite the fires dying down. Rain added that her family was thinking about "safety first" before they return to deal with the damage. "We definitely did get some damage, but not all hope is lost," Rain said. "It's a time to stick together."

The Brown kids wanted to pay extra care to their parents, as mom Ami recently recovered from lung cancer and Billy was previously hospitalized for respiratory issues. "The main thing is just being safe for my parents," Rain explained of keeping safety precautions strict. Asked about their health, Rain said they were "holding up" amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "Air quality is a big factor for my dad," Rain said, joking that their days together consist of "a lot of love and a lot of oxygen." Bird chimed in of her parents, "I feel like they're always the anchors. They’re always assuring us that things are going to be OK, even when we want to assure them things are OK."

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Bear's son, River Brown, was born to girlfriend Raiven Adams in March. Bear and the mother of his child weren't together at the time of his birth, and due to the coronavirus pandemic, Bear was only able to visit his son in person for the first time in September. It was on that trip that Bear and Adams announced they had decided to give their romance another go.

"After meeting River in person and seeing Raiven again we found out that we both still have feelings for each other, so we've decided that instead of being co-parents we are going to be just parents!" Bear wrote on Instagram at the time. "Raiven and I have decided to give our relationship another try! I asked Raiven if she would be my girlfriend and she said yes!"