Update 6/17 0330 PT: At approximately 1730 hours on Wednesday, June 16th, 2021, the Alaska State Troopers were notified by a volunteer SAR member departing the search area that Fina Kiefer walked out of the woods as they were driving by on Knik River Road, about a mile from the trailhead. Kiefer has injuries and EMS is transporting her to a Mat-Su area hospital for evaluation.
Original article (6/16/21 – 0300 PT):
The search for a missing woman charged by bears will resume today (Wednesday, June 16th, 2021) after a day-long air and ground search yesterday.
The woman was hiking the Pioneer Ridge Trail near Butte, AK. Early on Tuesday morning, she contacted her husband after multiple bears charged her. She discharged her bear spray but has not been heard from since and is not responding to calls or text messages.
Alaska State Troopers responded to the trailhead and conducted a hasty search of the first section of the trail with no results. The Rescue Coordination Center was contacted to coordinate an aerial search. The Alaska Rescue Coordination Center deployed a rescue team that has flown the trail and immediate area multiple times throughout the day. In addition to the aerial search, volunteers with the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group and MATSAR have been searching the area from the ground using K9s. Search efforts are ongoing.
Pioneer Ridge Trail, which begins at a parking area along Knik River Road south of Butte, is a moderately steep 4.5-mile trail up to about 5,300-feet.