Bears Fire Update, August 1, 2018

PHOENIX, August 1, 2018 —For Immediate Release.  Burnout operations began August 1 along Forest Roads 609 and 416 in an east direction towards Forest Road 486.

The temporary Closure Order for the area remains in effect. 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:  65 fire personnel, two engines, one dozer, and one excavator with masticating head. 

Current size: 1,500 acres

Summary: In addition to ensuring 100 percent containment of the Bears Fire, firefighters will begin burnout operations as part of the containment strategy. The intent is to subsequently reduce threats to firefighter and public safety as well as reduce costs and natural resource damage due to fires.

Approximately 11,511 acres are planned for the project. Burning will continue intermittently throughout August 2018, occurring as fuel and weather conditions permit.

Burnout operations will generate smoke, which will affect residents and visitors in Young, Payson, Tonto Basin, Pumpkin Center, and Roosevelt Lake.

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