Possible lightning-caused wildfire sparks near Bylas

U.S. 191 North still closed due to Bear Fire in Greenlee County

By Jon Johnson


BYLAS – The storm that caused havoc in Central on Monday also brought rain and hail to the Fort Thomas area and likely sparked a wildfire near Bylas along the Gila River. 

The fire began Monday afternoon around the time the storm was hitting the area and is consuming fuels as it appears to head westward toward San Carlos Lake. The lake is experiencing a less than normal amount of water in its reservoir and has a plethora of vegetation that could be burned if the fire reaches the area. The Mescal Fire reached areas near the west side of the lake previously.

Large plumes of smoke from the fire can be seen for miles. 

Bear Fire

Photo Courtesy InciWeb: An engine battles the Bear Fire along U.S. Highway 191 on Monday.

The lightning-caused Bear Fire began June 16 roughly 25 miles north of Clifton and has grown to 23,480 acres as of Monday night, with 18 percent containment. 

U.S. Highway 191 remains closed between milepost 176 to milepost 250 (Blue Vista).