Bears Fire Update

PHOENIX, July 30, 2018 —For Immediate Release.  Fire personnel continue boundary preparations today involving Forest Roads 416, 486 and 609 and are scheduled to begin burnout operations July 31 for the Bears Fire.

The Forest Supervisor for the Tonto National Forest issued a temporary Closure Order for the area on July 29. A map of the closed area along with the full Closure Order is available on the Tonto’s website at:

Bears Fire Overview:

Name Fire:  Bears Fire

Location: Bear Head Canyon, located in the northeast section of the Tonto National Forest approximately 10 miles southwest of Young, Arizona

Start Date:  July 26, 2018

Cause:  Lightning

Vegetation:  Ponderosa Pine and brush

Resources:  120 fire personnel, two engines, four crews, one fuels crew, two medics, one dozer, one excavator with masticating head

Current size:  44 acres

Summary: The Bears Fire is smoldering and creeping, in part due to weekend rainfall.

With the start of burnout operations July 31, smoke levels will begin to increase throughout the week. Residents and visitors in Young can expect to see and smell smoke, which also will affect Payson, Tonto Basin, Pumpkin Center, and Roosevelt Lake.

The Bears Fire’s remote location provides the Forest Service with an opportunity to also perform prescribed fire treatments to remove additional fuels, such as brush and down timber, and accomplish several forest objectives.

For information on the Tonto National Forest, visit the website at Join the conversation on Facebook at