By Karen Miranda Gleason, USFWS
“Karen, you’re Fish and Wildlife, you need to come out here!”
I was working as a public information officer at the North Fork Fire Department in eastern Idaho. My assignment, as part of an interagency team, was to provide news about the nearby Mustang Fire, burning in the Salmon National Forest. Lightning started the fire July 30. It was now August 26; homes were evacuated and more than 130,000 acres were black.
Outside, in the fire station parking lot, I saw an Idaho Fish and Game truck. In the back was a small black bear. Conservation officer Justin Williams told me that firefighters had spotted the bear, which he estimated to be 4 months old, clinging to a tree. After failing to locate its mother, they had called for the cub’s rescue.