Li'l Smokey, the bear cub that was rescued from the Moon Fire in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest last summer, could be released into the wild next month.
The bear's burnt paws have healed enough, and California Fish and Game wardens said Li'l Smokey could be returned to the wild within four weeks.
He is currently in hibernation and hasn't moved in more than a week.
The bear was only 15 pounds when he was admitted to Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care Inc. in July.
Tom Millham with the center said per an agreement with fish and game wardens, rescued animals are released within 50 miles of where they were found.
Li'l Smokey will be returned to the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.