Alaska hiker reported missing after bear encounter found alive
An Alaska hiker who has gone missing since reporting he was charged by bears more than a day ago was found alive on Wednesday.
A search has been started for Fina Kiefe, 55, who was alone on the Pioneer Ridge Trail early Tuesday after contacting her husband and telling him that she had been charged by multiple bears and used bear spray, Alaska State Troopers said .
Teams with dogs searched for them on the ground, and the Alaska Air National Guard searched from the air, officials said.
On Wednesday night after State Troopers said searches stopped for the day because of the weather, a volunteer leaving the area saw pine trees leave the forest near the road, State Troopers spokesman Austin McDaniel said.
She has injuries and was rushed to hospital, State Troopers said. McDaniel did not immediately have more information about the extent of the woman's injuries or whether a bear attack had occurred.
State troopers have been notified of the hiker's request for help and the reported bear attack on Tuesday at around 1:30 a.m. After Kieer asked for help, attempts to reach her by phone and SMS were unsuccessful, the soldiers said.
The trail is located in Matanuska-Susitna Borough, northeast of Anchorage, on the northern slope of Pioneer Peak. The ridge trail climbs about 5,300 feet, and from there, hikers can scale the summit, according to the district's website.
Bill Laxson, a member of the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group who coordinated the search, had previously told NBC's Anchorage subsidiary KTUU that the area was very difficult.
Pine was seen leaving the woods when the volunteer search team member was driving on Knik River Road, about a mile from the trailhead, State Troopers said.
The volunteer reported the discovery at 5:30 p.m., about an hour after state troopers said the search had been suspended for the day because of the weather. At the time, officials planned to evaluate further search efforts on Thursday morning.
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