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Black Bear Cub Ignites Fire Near Ravalli

Bear Cub Fire 2020
CSKT Division of Fire via Facebook
Bear cubs.

A small grass fire on the Flathead Indian Reservation that ignited on Aug. 9 had a tragic start but was quickly brought under control.

Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal (CSKT) firefighters and rural fire departments made quick work of a two acre grassfire northwest of Ravalli that started when a black bear cub climbed a power pole, was electrocuted and fell, starting the grass fire.

C.T. Camel, CSKT fire management specialist, said it happened on an important day.

"Yes, a black bear. And it was on Smokey Bear’s Birthday, his 76th birthday," Camel said.

Camel says this is not the first time a wild animal has climbed this power pole. A couple of years ago a squirrel ran up the same pole, met the same, tragic end, fell and started a grass fire.

Camel says he does not know what the attraction is to this particular power pole.

Kay Erickson has been working in broadcasting in Billings for more than 20 years. She spent well over a decade as news assignment editor at KTVQ-TV before joining the staff at YPR. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University, with a degree in broadcast journalism. Shortly after graduation she worked in Great Falls where she was one of the first female sports anchor and reporter in Montana.