Firefighter Working Alaska Fire Injured by Bear

A firefighter battling a fire in the Chugach National Forest is being treated for minor injuries after a run-in with a bear Monday night, reports

The man was bitten by the bear as he fought the Juneau Lake Fire, according to a statement posted on the Alaska Wildland Fire Information blog. The 573-acre lightning-caused fire, which started June 16, is about 35 percent contained; an online fire report Monday night lists “the remote access for incoming crews” as a key challenge.

“Due to the remote location of the encounter, the most direct transport was a LifeMed helicopter which airlifted the firefighter from the Juneau Lake site to a hospital in Anchorage,” fire officials wrote in a statement on the incident. “The firefighter walked from the encounter site to the helicopter and is undergoing standard treatment for animal bites.”

Jean Goad, a spokeswoman with the incident management team handling the fire, didn’t immediately have word on whether the bear was a brown bear or a black bear, or whether the firefighter was with a Montana hotshot crew or an Alaska-based group fighting the fire.

“He was able to walk about a mile, with support, to the chopper,” Goad said. “We have some troopers and other folks who went up initially afterward to check things out.”

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