Bonita Fire June 25, 2017 Daily Update

Thunderstorms expected over the Bonita Fire

June 25, 2017 Daily Update

Acres: 7,495 Start Date: June 3, 2017
Cause: Lightning Location: Bonita Canyon, 3 miles north of Cañon Plaza
Containment: 85% Fuels: Timber (grass and understory), brush, short grass
Total personnel: 294

Yesterday, a community meeting was held in Vallecitos to provide an overview of progress on the Bonita Fire. Residents were able to meet with Incident Commander Dave Bales, District Ranger Jim Gumm, and other Incident Management Team members to share their questions and concerns. At this time, no further community meetings are planned.

Fire has consumed the majority of pine litter in the Bonita Fire area. Residual burning continues inside the fire perimeter as logs, stumps, and other dead and down fuels continue to smolder. As this low-intensity fire burns through the understory, nutrients are recycled back into the soil to help promote new vegetation growth after the monsoonal rains. Today, firefighters will finish rehabilitation work by chipping any remaining debris on the east and south sides of the fire. The Burned Area Emergency Response Team hopes to complete a final reconnaissance flight over the fire, although weather conditions may limit aerial operations for the day. Remaining crews will continue to patrol and monitor the fire’s edge, ensuring there is no hidden heat that could potentially reignite the surrounding vegetation.

A storm system will pass over northern New Mexico this afternoon and evening. As the system moves across the area, showers and thunderstorms will develop with a few storms passing over or very near the Bonita Fire. Gusty outflows of wind and brief heavy rain will occur with these storms, along with the possibility of small hail. The system will move out of the area on Sunday evening with a slow drying and warming trend for the remainder of the week.

With thunderstorms in the forecast, firefighters must be especially cautious of lightning in the area. Meteorologists measure lightning activity on a scale of 1-6, with 6 representing the highest lightning activity level (LAL). Today’s weather indicates an LAL 4, with scattered thunderstorms, moderate rain, and frequent lightning (11-15 strikes in 5 minutes). Prior to beginning their work for the day, firefighters will review safety protocols and discuss the hazards associated with working near approaching thunderstorms. Minimizing exposure and risk to fire personnel is one of the primary objectives of the incident.

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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