Summary: The Pecos Zone Type III Incident Management Team will transition the fire back to the local Type 3 Incident Commander on Saturday, June 30th at 6:00 a.m.Buck Mountain Road continues to be closed due to the removal of hazard trees. The Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) over the fire will continue to be in effect until Wednesday. Flooding is still a possibility along areas of Bonito Creek with thunderstorms and showers predicted for the next couple of days. When in an area that has been damaged, especially near drainages, if thunder cells build, rain is falling or imminent please immediately leave the area and seek higher ground for safety. Aviation resources are supporting the Horse Canyon Fire near Queen, NM.
For information concerning the fire and rehabilitation efforts please contact the following number: (575) 224-2237 (BAER).
Detected: Monday, June 4, 2012 Containment: 95% percent
Location: Smokey Bear Ranger District, Lincoln NF Fuel Type: Mixed Conifer, Ponderosa Pine
Road Closures: NM 532 (Ski Run Road) west from the softball complex near NM 48 junction, and Forest Road 107; are open to residents only
Area Closures: Portions of the Smokey Bear Ranger District to re-open. The southern portion of the Smokey Bear Ranger District closed during the fire is now open. The area south of the Ski Run Road and on both sides of Highway 70 from Ruidoso to the forest boundary near Glencoe is now open for use. This includes areas known as Cedar Creek, Gavilan Ridge, Little Creek, Eagle Creek, Devil’s Canyon and Hale Lake. Due to previous closure orders, the North side of Cedar Creek and Grindstone area will remain closed.
Area closures include:
All access to the Bonito Recreation Corridor off of FS Road 107 and 108 which includes established and dispersed campgrounds, hiking trails and trail heads.
All access off of Hwy 532 (Ski Run Road) which includes Monjeau Lookout Road, Spring Canyon Trailhead, Eagle Creek FS Road 127A, Oakgrove Campground, and Buck Mountain.Three Rivers Campground and Trail 44 off of Hwy 54. These closures are in effect to ensure firefighter and public safety until suppression and rehabilitation efforts have been completed within the burned area.
All roads accessing private land within the Little Bear Fire area are now open. Some roads accessing the Lincoln National Forest remain closed. These include NM 532 (Ski Run Road) west from the softball complex
near NM 48 junction and Forest Road 107 above Bonito Dam (a permit from the Forest Service is required to access this area.). These permits will not supersede evacuation orders from with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s or Ruidoso Police Departments when flooding occurs.
For additional details about closures, contact the Smokey Bear Ranger District at 575-257-4095.
Many residents of the community have expressed interest in making monetary donations to the firefighting organizations. Local fire departments should be considered first. Additionally, the following websites provide avenues for making donations: www.wffoundation.org, andwww.redcrossnewmexico.org.
Information on wildland fire smoke and your health can be found on the New Mexico Department of Health’s website at: https://nmtracking.unm.edu/eh_alerts/, or call the New Mexico statewide health line at (877)304-4161. Additional websites for accurate fire information are Facebook.com/LittleBearFireNM, Flickr.com.photos.lincolnnationalforest (maps), and Flickr.com/photos/wildland-fires-2012/ (photos).
As the monsoons approach, heavy rainfall may produce flash floods. The National Weather Service Advisories are available at: http://www.weather.gov/abq.
A predictive model for probability of thunderstorms over burned areas, known as Burn Scar Thunderstorm Threat Matrix, is available at: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/images/fxc/abq/graphicast/image_full5.gif. Register for Lincoln County CodeRED Emergency Alerts at http://www.lincolncountynm.net/.
Alamogordo, NM (June 29, 2012) –Dry lightning ignited a fire near Horse Spring in the Guadalupe Mountains. Reported at 5:00 a.m. this morning, the Horse Canyon Fire is currently about 25 acres and burning in pinyon, juniper, and grass. A Type 2 helicopter is making water drops on the fire and fourteen firefighters are on the ground. An air tanker and additional crews are on order.
The Horse Canyon fire is about 5 miles southeast of Queen and about a mile from the Carlsbad Caverns National Park boundary.
A few widely scattered light rain showers were falling over the Pecos Valley this morning. I even managed to squeeze out .01" from one of them here at my home in Carlsbad. The McKittrick Canyon Raws measured .05". The Clovis Municipal Airport got lucky and picked up .32".
A few widely scattered thunderstorms dotted the landscape yesterday afternoon as well, and a few other stations managed to get something measurable in their rain buckets as well including-
Take a look at the visible and water vapor satellite snapshots above. That blob of moisture just off the Texas Coastal Bend this morning is associated with an upper-level low. This low is forecast to slowly make its way northwest into northern Mexico by early next week. This feature should help to jump start our annual summer monsoon. Forecast models are still trying to nail down the details for next week, but it appears that we will see our temperatures drop back down to more seasonable levels (mid-upper 90's), as well as a uptick in our thunderstorm activity across our part of the state.
If this happens then our annual summer monsoon will kick off right on schedule. As is usually the case this time of the year, any thunderstorm activity will be fairly scattered, with the mountains having the best chance of getting wetting rains.
Cloudcroft (at 8,750' in the southern Sacramento mountains) has been experiencing afternoon high temps in the low-mid 80's for the past couple of weeks. They are forecast to drop down into the mid-upper 70's next week.
Ruidiso (at 6,818' in the northern Sacramento mountains) has been experiencing highs near 90 to the low 90's for the past couple of weeks. They are forecast to cool down into the low 80's next week. There generally is a 20% -40% chance for scattered afternoon and evening thunderstorms across the Sacramento's next week.
Queen (at 5,845' in the Guadalupe mountains 50 miles west of Carlsbad) has been experiencing highs in the mid-upper 90's for the past couple of weeks. They are forecast to cool down to the mid-upper 80's next week. They generally have about a 20% chance for scattered afternoon and evening thunderstorms,
We are now in our typical summer time weather pattern here in the southeastern plains. This usually means hot, sometimes muggy afternoons, with highs bouncing around the mid 90's to near 100. Oftentimes our thunderstorms occur either late in the afternoon or evening, and sometimes will continue overnight. Our wettest thee months of the year are July-August-September.
Will we break out of this horrible drought anytime soon? I get asked that question almost daily. Our best hope if for a normal monsoonal summer followed by a decent El Nino event late this summer or fall, continuing into next year. Its still too early yet to know for sure how this all will pan out, but overall, we are in better shape (although we have a long way to go) than we were at this time last year.
Just enough mid-level moisture managed to sneak into the area to help fire off a few high based mostly dry thunderstorms. Early this morning a couple of thunderstorms managed to drop .02" at the Bat Draw Raws, the Bowl Raws, and .01" at the Dark Canyon Raws, and the Guadalupe Pass ASOS. A thunderstorm was reported at the Carlsbad Airport at 5 AM.
Yesterday afternoon a few scattered thunderstorms also formed over the Sacramento mountains. A personal weather station in Dry Canyon east of Cloudcroft reported .23". The Sierra Blanca Snotel reported .10", the IRaws 13 (Lift-6) reported .03". The Cloudcroft Climate Coop Station reported .03".
We are still looking at hot weather across the area today into Sunday. Highs will range range from the low 100's today and Saturday, to the upper 90's to near 100 on Sunday. Current forecast trends still continue to drop our daily high temps a little by the first of next week into the 4th of July with readings in the mid 90's expected.
A stray thunderstorm or two is possible across parts of the southeastern plains today. The best chance of this happening will be over and near the mountains. These will be high based and mostly dry thunderstorms that will produce gusty winds, cloud to ground lightning, and very little rainfall.
Across the Sacramento mountains the chances for scattered thunderstorms are a little higher today into the 4th of July holiday. Enough monsoonal moisture seepage from the south will ooze into the area to fire up the usual daily round of scattered afternoon and evening thunderstorms.
Cloudcroft and Ruidoso and surrounding areas have a 20% - 30% chance of getting wet into the 4th of July holiday. Ruidoso is looking at highs in the upper 80's from today into Sunday. They should then drop down into the low-mid 80's by the first of the week. Cloudcroft is looking at highs in the low-mid 80's into Sunday. They then should see highs in the upper 70's by the first of next week.
On Saturday, June 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Lincoln County and cooperating agencies will host an expo to provide information about recovery after the Little Bear fire, and preparedness for future fires and floods. Representatives from Lincoln County government, New Mexico Division of Forestry, NM Environment Department, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, USFS BAER (Burned Area Emergency Response) team, Lincoln National Forest, Smokey Bear Ranger District, Village of Ruidoso, local service clubs, and numerous volunteer organizations are expected be on hand to offer assistance, or to direct residents to sources of assistance. Information on available assistance for homeowners who have lost property, recovery of burned areas, and preparedness for flooding and future fires will be provided. The location of the expo is the Ruidoso High School Auxiliary Gymnasium, 100 Warrior Road, Ruidoso.
Lincoln County and cooperators are working on several projects to lessen the post fire impacts on Lincoln County residents and infrastructure. The Watershed Restoration and Protection Task Force continues its aggressive drainage evaluation and restoration process. Debris removal in Bonito Creek continues, and Eagle Creek is about 70% complete. An estimated three days of work remain before crews move to the east side of Hwy 48.
A permanent warning system is being installed at the Bonito Lake dam, and is expected to be completed on Monday, July 2. This warning system will send alerts via cell phone, landline phone and radio if water level reaches a critical level. The system will also record and transmit the current water level in the lake. The water level in Bonito Lake is being lowered to reduce potential for flooding as the monsoon season approaches. One drainage line is open, and divers will be in the lake today to attempt to open another line which is clogged.
Summary:Rehabilitation efforts continue today with 90% of the dozerline and waterbars reseeded along the fire perimeter yesterday. The interior remained quiet today with low to moderate fire behavior in the Aspen and Bear Canyon areas. Buck Mountain Road will remain closed while crews remove hazard trees. Flooding is still a possibility along areas of Bonito Creek with measurable wetting rain and thunderstorms predicted for the next couple of days over the fire area. When in an area that has been damaged, especially near drainages, if thunder cells build, rain is falling or imminent please immediately leave the area and seek higher ground for safety. Resources continue to be released for other assignments; aviation resources continue to support other fires in New Mexico.
All roads accessing private land within the Little Bear Fire area are now open. Some roads accessing the Lincoln National Forest remain closed. These include NM 532 (Ski Run Road) west from the softball complex near NM 48 junction and Forest Road 107 above Bonito Dam (a permit from the Forest Service is required to access this area.)