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Bear Fire forces road closure, tops 23,500 acres at 20% containment

The partial closure of US 191 near Alpine is the latest in wildfire-forced closure of roadways throughout the Grand Canyon State.

ALPINE, Ariz. — A wildfire has forced the closure of another roadway in the eastern area of Arizona.

The fire, called the Bear Fire, has burned 23,868 acres and is 20% contained as of Thursday morning, fire officials said. Around 22 personnel have been assigned to the fire.

The wildfire has forced authorities to close a portion of US 191 between mileposts 201 and 225 near Alpine, fire officials said. Other Arizona roadways are also closed due to wildfires, including:

  • State Route 260, closed from Camp Verde to SR 87 between mileposts 228 and 252, due to the Backbone Fire.
  • State Route 87, closed from Payson to Lake Mary Road between mileposts 255 and 290, due to the Backbone Fire.
  • State Route 77, closed from Globe to Winkelman, due to the Telegraph Fire. 

No communities near the fire have been put into "READY," "SET," or "GO" yet.

Residents in evacuation areas are urged to have an emergency supplies kit to bring with them when leaving their homes.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that residents near a disaster store emergency supplies in a plastic tub, small suitcase, trash can, backpack, or other containers. 

Residents should make sure they have the necessities, such as three gallons of water per person and a three-day supply of ready-to-eat food, the NFPA said. A first-aid kit, prescription medications, contact lenses, and non-prescription drugs should also be taken into account. 

Copies of any important family documents, including insurance policies, identification, bank account records, and emergency contact numbers should also be taken and put into a waterproof, portable container in your kit, the NFPA said. 

The association lists other items that would help in a disaster, including:

  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Battery-powered or hand-cranked radio and an NOAA weather radio to receive up-to-date information
  • Dust mask or cotton T-shirt to filter the air
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Complete change of clothing including long pants, long sleeve shirts, and sturdy shoes stored in a waterproof container
  • Signal flare

The entire NFPA checklist of supplies can be found here.

Wildfires in Arizona

Get the latest information on how to stay safe and protect your home during wildfire season in Arizona on our 12 News YouTube playlist here.