Bonita Fire June 22, 2017 Daily Update

 Bonita Fire crews transition to rehabilitation strategy

June 22, 2017 Daily Update

Acres: 7,393 Start Date: June 3, 2017
Cause: Lightning Location: Bonita Canyon, 3 miles north of Cañon Plaza
Containment: 50% Fuels: Timber (grass and understory), brush, short grass
Total personnel: 355

Yesterday on the Bonita Fire, firefighters worked on rehabilitation efforts and continued to patrol the northern and eastern portions of the fire. Efforts focused on restoration and repair to remove evidence of the firefighting operations that have taken place over the past few weeks. On the southern flank of the fire, firefighters completed planned burnout operations to enhance protections for the community of Cañon Plaza and surrounding areas. Firefighting operations aim to remove remaining fuels and minimize smoke production in the area.

Residents may continue to observe smoke as a result of yesterday’s burnout operations, with the highest concentration of smoke being visible in the morning. Critical fire weather will occur this afternoon and evening as west-to-northwest winds increase and gusts reach 35-40 miles per hour. The Bonita Fire Incident Meteorologist has issued a Red Flag Warning for the incident due to these increasing winds and low relative humidity. Gusty and erratic winds associated with nearby thunderstorms may also contribute to the spread of smoke in the area. The air quality monitor at Vallecitos currently shows conditions that may be unhealthy for sensitive groups, however the general public is not likely to be adversely affected. The New Mexico Department of Health advises people with heart or lung disease, children, and older adults, to reduce prolonged outdoor activities during periods of heavy smoke.

Today, firefighters will continue to naturalize the fire area. Rehabilitation activities include chipping debris and removing berms that were created during fireline construction. Firefighters and resource advisors will assess the need for seeding and add water bars to direct water flow to prevent post-fire erosion. Crews will also identify and remove hazardous trees, and mend fences that were cut for firefighter access or damaged during the fire. Other fire personnel will patrol and monitor the existing firelines to ensure the fire is confined within the established perimeter. Minimal burnout operations may take place today, if needed. As tasks are completed, fire crews and equipment will be steadily released from the incident.

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

Fire Information: (505) 501-8509 (8:00 am to 8:00 pm)



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June 22 - Progression Map

June 22 - Vicinity Map

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