Grizzly Bear Pounces On Firefighter

Jackson Hole News & Guide, Bear Hunting Magazine
08/06/2008

A grizzly bear fleeing a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park pounced on a firefighter, but a spokeswoman said the man was not seriously hurt.

Firefighter Tony Allabastro was treated and released from a Yellowstone clinic hours after the incident, said Sandra Hare, spokeswoman for the team managing the LeHardy Fire. The fire had burned about 4,700 acres, roughly seven square miles, in the Fishing Bridge area near the northern bank of Yellowstone Lake in the central section of the park.

Allabastro is a member of the Lewis and Clark Hotshots from Great Falls, Montana, Hare said.
It kind of roughed him up a little bit, so he has some scratching and stuff to his back.He got pounced on.

Hare said officials believe the bear was not being particularly aggressive. We really feel like it was the bear trying to get out of the area, she said.

Firefighters on the Yellowstone fire are carrying pepper spray for bears, but Allabastro did not have time to grab his. It is one of the hazards of fighting backcountry fires, she said.

Roads and recreation areas in Yellowstone remained open and crews were continuing to conduct burnout operations to stop the fire.
The fire is continuing to move away from properties and away from recreation areas, so there is no threat to visitors at this point, and no threat to the Fishing Bridge resort area.

Elsewhere in Wyoming, the Gunbarrel Fire, about 40 miles west of Cody, had burned nearly 22,000 acres, or 34 square miles. Firefighters had been successful in keeping the fire to the north side of the North Fork Highway that runs between Cody and Yellowstones East Entrance.



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