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Bears Fire

Unit Information

Tonto National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
Phoenix, AZ 85006

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Incident Contact

Payson Ranger District
Phone: 928-474-7900
Hours: M-F 8:00am to 4:30pm

Map showing the day by day fire growthImage options: [ Full Size ]

Bears Fire Burnout Operations to Resume August 19

PHOENIX, August 16, 2018 —For Immediate Release. Firefighters plan to resume burnout operations related to the Bears Fire beginning on Sunday, August 19. Burning temporarily was suspended August 9 due to rainfall from monsoons.

If proper conditions continue, firefighters will burn an additional 1,800 acres of Ponderosa Pine and brush in the Mistake Peak and Picture fire scars and conclude burnout operations on Friday, August 24. To date, burnout operations have removed understory fuels from approximately 6,500 acres of pine.

Burnout operations began August 1 as part of the Forest Service’s containment strategy to:

  • Ensure 100 percent containment of the Bears Fire

  • Reduce threats to firefighter and public safety as well as reduce costs and natural resource damage due to fires by burning dead and downed vegetation as well as surface fuels

A lightning strike ignited the Bears Fire on July 26 in Bear Head Canyon, located in the northeast section of the Tonto National Forest approximately 10 miles southwest of Young, Arizona.

To protect firefighters and the public, a 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:

When burnout operations resume, moderate to heavy smoke may impact residents and visitors in Young, Payson, Tonto Basin, Forest Lakes, Colcord, Heber, Pinedale, and Roosevelt Lake areas.

Updates are available on InciWeb:

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Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginThursday July 26th, 2018 approx. 01:45 PM
LocationBear Head Canyon, located in the northeast section of the Tonto National Forest approximately 10 miles southwest of Young, Arizona
Incident CommanderWilliam Dudley
Coordinates33.965 latitude, -111.113 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel25
Size6,500 Acres
Fuels Involved

Timber and brush

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Bears Fire Closure Order Closure - 7/30/2018