Bear badly burned in wildfire returns to forest

CHELAN COUNTY, WA- After much rehabilitation, a black bear that was burned in last year's wildfires is back in her natural habitat.

Cinder needed a lot of care after she was injured in the July 2014 Carlton complex fire in the Methow Valley.

She suffered third degree burns on all four paws and couldn't walk.

The bear was also underweight from starvation.

She was taken in and given plenty of treatment, eventually becoming strong and healthy enough to be released into the wilderness Wednesday, along with another bear that was orphaned.

Methow Valley is still scarred from the wildfire, so she's got a new home in eastern Washington, about thirty miles north of Leavenworth.

"There's great spring food supply. We're about a month ahead of berry production because of the weather conditions, and everything here's about to pop," said Washington Wildlife Biologist Richard Beausoleil.

INMAN says: "I hope she lives out a natural life and raises cubs and hopefully never encounters another human."

"She's in a great spot. The odds are on her side. That's the work we did on the front end, was giving her the best chance possible and so now it's up to her," Beausoleil said.

Cinder's story has also become a children's book, "Cinder the bear: a true story of rescue, recovery, rehabilitation and return."