Bonita Fire Daily Update June 23, 2017

Final community meeting for the Bonita Fire

June 23, 2017 Daily Update

Acres: 7,426 Start Date: June 3, 2017
Cause: Lightning Location: Bonita Canyon, 3 miles north of Cañon Plaza
Containment: 76% Fuels: Timber (grass and understory), brush, short grass
Total personnel: 327

Firefighters have transitioned from an active suppression strategy to a focus on rehabilitation of firefighting activities. Rehabilitation tasks have been coordinated with local resource advisors to ensure the repair of affected resources and to mitigate post-fire effects. Crews have successfully naturalized dozer lines, leveled berms, removed hazardous trees, and chipped debris created during fireline construction. Despite challenges from increased winds, firefighters were able to prevent any additional spread of the Bonita Fire outside of established containment lines.

The Bonita Fire produced a mixture of high and low severity fire effects. Fire behavior ranged from low intensity to high intensity which caused more severe fire effects in some places. Much of the fire behavior was low to moderate intensity, which is beneficial to overall forest health. Historically in this area, fire has played an important role in reducing hazardous fuels, enriching the soil and recycling nutrients. Natural fire also stimulates new plant growth for food availability and shelter for wildlife, as well as forage for domestic livestock. The Bonita Fire will ultimately provide long-term resource benefits to the landscape.

The Carson National Forest has specially trained professionals, including hydrologists, soil scientists, engineers, biologists, vegetation specialists, and archeologists, who have come together to form a Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Team. This team rapidly evaluates areas that are affected by wildfire and prescribes any emergency stabilization treatments needed on National Forest System lands. This BAER Team has begun their assessment for rehabilitation needs on the Bonita Fire. Rehabilitation focuses on areas unlikely to recover naturally from wildland fire damage and stabilizes areas that may be susceptible to flood damage.

Today, firefighters will continue to patrol the entire fire perimeter and extinguish any remaining pockets of heat.

Although smoke has dissipated from the Bonita Fire, higher elevation jet streams are carrying smoke from surrounding fires in the region. A gradual cooling trend will move into northern New Mexico from the east, bringing cooler temperatures and an increased chance for showers and thunderstorms through the weekend.

The Southwest Area Incident Management Team 4 will host a community meeting at 2:00 P.M. on Saturday, June 24, 2017, at the Vallecitos Volunteer Fire Department, located at CR 247 House No. 1540, Vallecitos, NM 87581.

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) Email:


Facebook: Twitter: @CarsonNF


June 23 - Progression Map

June 23 - Vicinity Map

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