A wildlife biologist said bears might cause problems in the John Day area this fall as they search for food sources to replace the berries and grass burned in the Canyon Creek Complex fire last year.

Ryan Torland, ODFW district biologist for Grant County, said residents should clean up fallen fruit around trees, avoid leaving pet food outside and keep garbage cans inside a garage or shed if possible. Torland said there have already been a couple incidents with bears poking around homes on the outskirts of John Day.

Bears spend the fall eating heavily to build up fat for winter hibernation, Torland said in an ODFW news release. But the Canyon Creek Fire south of John Day last summer scorched a major food supply, and could send bears searching elsewhere, he said. Bears that raid garbage cans or fruit trees in residential areas could get habituated to them as a food source and cause trouble for homeowners, he said.

For bear tips, visit dfw.state.or.us/wildlife/living_with/black_bears.asp.

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