Some might say it was Smokey the Bear checking up on the forest fire situation in southern Manitoba.

A black bear was spotted Monday west of Steinbach.  Judy Friesen and her husband saw the animal while travelling down highway #52 near the New Bothwell turnoff.  Friesen guesses it was about 6 feet tall.  She says the bear actually crossed the highway as it headed south, causing traffic to come to a standstill.  Friesen says it was the first time she has ever seen a bear in the Steinbach area. A mother bear and her two cubs have also been spotted in Ste.Anne. Residents are advised to be careful around the animals.