Bonita Fire June 24, 2017 Daily Update

Crews on the Bonita Fire continue rehabilitation efforts

June 24, 2017 Daily Update

Acres: 7,495 Start Date: June 3, 2017
Cause: Lightning Location: Bonita Canyon, 3 miles north of Cañon Plaza
Containment: 81% Fuels: Timber (grass and understory), brush, short grass
Total personnel: 315

Bonita Fire crews continue to patrol the entire fire perimeter to locate and extinguish any remaining hotspots. Yesterday, an area of previously unburned vegetation within the fire perimeter had the right conditions to ignite, which produced additional smoke near Cañon Plaza.  In addition, higher elevation jet streams transported smoke from the 37,000-acre Brian Head Fire in southern Utah to the area surrounding the Bonita Fire.  With the incoming cooler weather, the forecast predicts associated moisture from eastern New Mexico.  Scattered showers and thunderstorms are projected to be most active during the afternoon and evening hours, with the possibility of erratic winds.

Yesterday, an unauthorized drone was spotted flying within the Bonita Fire Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) boundaries.  All aerial resources were temporarily grounded, postponing firefighting operations until it was deemed safe to fly again.  During this interruption, aircraft were not able to drop water, monitor the fire from above, or provide tactical information to firefighters on the ground.  As a reminder to the public, even a small drone can cause a serious or fatal accident if it collides with firefighting aircraft.  Remember “If you fly, we can’t!”  For additional information, please visit and

Today, crews will patrol and monitor the northern and eastern boundaries of the fire, looking for hotspots and ensuring the containment lines continue to hold.  On the southern portion of the fire, crews will focus on rehabilitation operations while also patrolling the perimeter. The Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Team will continue their assessment of the Bonita Fire area.  The team of specialists will evaluate rehabilitation and stabilization needs, identifying those areas that may not be able to recover naturally from fire damage.  The results of this analysis will help determine the best method to minimize the effects of water runoff that may cause future erosion and flooding.

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

A closure order remains in place for those lands located within the boundaries of the Bonita Fire Area. 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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