The OPP and the MNR are reminding residents how to avoid bears as they come out of hibernation season. Police say the potential for bear interaction increases when little natural food is available. To avoid having a bear come into your backyard, practice the following tips. Store your garbage in waste containers with tight-fitting lids and make sure you’re only putting the garbage out the morning of the pickup. Put away bird feeders and pick fruits and berries as they ripen. Finally, clean your outdoor barbecue after each use. Police say bears can smell from great distances. If a bear is causing a threat to your safety, remember to call 911 or your local OPP. For non-emergencies, the Ministry of Natural Resources operates the toll-free, 24/7 Bear Reporting Line at 1-866-514-2327.