SEATTLE — After two bears were hit and killed by vehicles in Western Washington this week, wildlife conservation groups are reminding drivers and homeowners to take precautions to avoid run-ins.

A bear cub was hit and killed by a vehicle on Duthie Hill Rd. in Sammamish, Wednesday, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said. The cub was with its mother and another cub, which weren't hurt.

A second bear was hit and killed on Highway 18 in Auburn on Wednesday, the department said.

Also see | Woodland Park Zoo asks public to submit carnivore sightings for research

Western Wildlife Outreach, a non-profit organization which educates people on how to safely co-exist with animals, said drivers should be extra cautious as fall approaches and the sun sets earlier in the day.

They said this is also a good time to remind homeowners of a few easy steps they can take to prevent bears from wandering into populated areas.

  • Take down bird feeders and bring them inside until November when bears are settling down to hibernate for the winter.
  • Keep garbage bins in a garage or shed until garbage day.
  • Bring the trash to the curb the morning of pickup to minimize the length of time bins are sitting outdoors.
  • Consider getting a bear-resistant garbage container.
  • Don’t leave bowls of pet food outdoors.

“Everybody has to take part in this. If one neighbor is putting their garbage cans out and leaving them unsecured, but all the other 12 neighbors nearby are being good citizens, that one garbage can may still attract bears, so it really takes a community,” said Lorna Smith, executive director of Western Wildlife Outreach.

Also see | Reports of bear sightings increase at Mount Baker-Snoqualmie campgrounds

Click here for more tips about coexisting with black bears.