Bear cub rescued after being burned in California wildfire

An injured bear cub that was rescued after it suffered burns in a California wildfire is being nursed back to health at a wildlife center at Lake Tahoe.

Officials at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care have named the young bear “Tamarack” after the fire that burned through the Sierra south of the lake and into Nevada. On Tuesday, the center posted photos and video of the bear on Facebook, saying the animal’s “wounds are progressing as expected & we are optimistic about his recovery!”

Tamarack Update: This morning Dr. Sheets conferred with Dr. Peyton at the Wildlife Disaster Network & it was decided…

Posted by Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care, Inc. on Tuesday, July 27, 2021

A Markleeville homeowner telephoned the center Sunday night after returning from an evacuation and finding the cub walking on its elbows because of burns on its paws, said Denise Upton, the center’s animal care director.

They called the fire incident commander, who escorted them into the closed area where they found the cub in the home’s backyard. The cub tried to climb a tree but couldn’t because of his wounds, Upton told the Tahoe Daily Tribune.

A veterinarian wrapped his burned paws and gave him painkillers. Upton said they’re working with the University of California, Davis, to get a skin treatment that will speed healing.

He’s estimated to be 5- or 6-months-old, weighing 21 pounds.

“He came to us underweight … and was dehydrated,” Upton said. “But other than that, he was in pretty good condition.”

Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care will likely keep the bear through winter and release him in the spring, she said.

As of Monday, the Tamarack Fire had burned a total of 67,764 acres and was 45 percent contained, CBS Sacramento reported.


CBSN documentary “Bring Your Own Brigade” captures the horror and heroism of the deadliest week of wildfires in California history and explores the causes and solutions of a global crisis that is quite literally burning our world to the ground. Watch “Bring Your Own Brigade in theaters starting August 6, and stream it on the CBS News app or Paramount+ on August 20.