Investigation continues into black bear attack near C. Falls

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KALISPELL, Mont. - An investigation continues after a woman was reportedly attacked by a black bear while running with her dogs.

It happened late Thursday morning on U.S. Forest Service property in the Cedar Flats area just north of Columbia Falls.

According to reports, the bear first went after the woman's dogs and then attacked her.

NBC Montana went to Cedar Flats on Friday to see the area where it happened and found nobody in sight.

Residents just up the road told NBC Montana they are used to seeing bears and hearing about attacks, but are somewhat surprised the attack came from a black bear, instead of a grizzly bear.

They say there are usually a couple attacks every year in the Cedar Flats area, and it is something people have to watch out for.

"People get them in their yards and in their fruit trees. I mean bears, they're all over the place around here. It's not as common to see them in town but it does happen fairly regularly,"said Paul Albertoni, a Cedar Flats area resident.

Wildlife officials closed the area in order to capture the bear. There is no word on whether that bear was captured, but the area remains closed for public safety reasons.

The extent of injuries to the woman and her dogs is still unclear.