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Yelllowstone National Park Firefighter "Roughed Up" By Grizzly


The LeHardy Fire in Yellowstone National Park continues to churn out massive columns of smoke. This photo was taken Saturday from Mary Bay. NPS photo.

The grizzly bear apparently couldn't get away from the "LeHardy Fire" in Yellowstone National Park fast enough. Unfortunately for the firefighter, he was in the way of the bear's path.

Details out of the park are sparse, but apparently the firefighter received minor injuries the other day when he was "roughed up" by the bear. No word on the bear's health, but apparently he made good on his efforts to leave the area.

As for the LeHardy Fire, it's burned across some 4,260 acres and is only 5 percent contained. Though the fire, which is burning in mature lodgepole pine and mixed spruce/fir forest, remains north of the Fishing Bridge area of the park, crews are taking no chances and have taken steps to protect facilities at Fishing Bridge from the fire if it swings further to the south.


Pleasantly surprised that this bear encounter - the firefighter was treated and released, according to KIFI in Idaho - has been buried in the news release and wasn't picked up in any significant way by local media. This sort of thing is usually sensationalized and all over the national press (though what happened last month to the guy just outside the park being attacked in his tent while he slept was a kind of sensational story).

It would be good to know what happened with the bear, but we are led to believe that the bear is fine (except being "frightened").

There are other fires in the area - notably the Gunbarrel Fire, between Cody and the East Entrance, that's up to 22,000 acres. Although some have been evacuated, this fire also is moving toward the north and the east, mostly through beetle-infested forests that probably need a good burning. It's still creeping a bit to the south. There are a couple small fires in the Absaroka wilderness. To the south, there's a fire in the Bridger-Teton forest. Still, all roads are open.

Pictures are starting to come out of the LeHardy Fire - there's a very interesting set a blogger put out yesterday - check out the one with the bison.

Jim Macdonald
The Magic of Yellowstone
Yellowstone Newspaper
Jim's Eclectic World

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