Carson National Forest Bonita Wildfire Update June 17th 2017


Location: El Rito Ranger District

Bonita Canyon

3 miles north of Cañon Plaza

Size: Approx. 4700 acres

Containment: 25%

Cause: Lightning

Start Date: June 3, 2017

El Rito, NM, June 17, 2017—For Immediate Release.  Yesterday afternoon fire activity increased due to near record high temperatures and extremely low humidity. The fire crossed the containment line on Forest Road 42 on the east side of the fire and moved to the east approximately one mile. The majority of the fire remained in the initial planning area west of Forest Road 110. Air resources were unable to fly due to thick smoke. Small spot fires crossed FR110 and are currently held in check.  Fire fighters will continue work today with construction of hand and dozer line on the east and south sides of the new fire area. A Type 2 Incident Management Team was ordered and will arrive tomorrow.  Type 2 teams have access to additional resources.

The increase in fire activity resulted in an increase in smoke in Vallecitos Canyon and local communities. The highest concentration of smoke will occur around sunrise each day. If your health is affected negatively from exposure to smoke the New Mexico Department of Health advises you to move to an area with clean air or to keep windows closed. Information regarding air quality and health protection can be found online at the New Mexico Department of Health’s website at

A closure order for those lands located within the boundaries of the Bonita Fire Area remains in effect until further notice. For information regarding the forest closure contact the El Rito Ranger District at (575) 581-4554.

The area within Forest roads 42, 42F and 274 is closed due to the proximity of the fire and heavy fire traffic.

Forest road 45 northbound at the intersection of FR 42 and FR 45 is closed due to increased fire traffic. This will restrict bicyclists’ access to the Continental Divide Trail. Forest Road 111 northbound at the intersection of FR42 and FR45 is also closed.

For fire information, please call the Bonita Fire Information Line at (575) 758-6345 from 8:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M., or visit Inciweb, Carson National Forest Facebook page or Twitter @CarsonNF.


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