Evidence of Little Bear fire still remains at Bonito lake

Updated: 05/30/2014 6:45 PM | Created: 05/30/2014 6:43 PM
By: Lauren Hansard, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Bonito Lake is stunning, but silent. What used to be a lake full of campers and fishermen this time of year now sits empty except for one family.

“I’ve actually never had a lake to myself, this is bizarre," said Tad Gleason. Gleason and his family are visiting from Placitas. “We had no idea there that was any fire damage at all, so when we drove in it was surprising."

They quickly realized, this was not the vacation they were in for.

“It seems dead here, we've seen a few birds, no other wildlife than that,” said Gleason. “It's a strange feeling."

This is the aftermath of the Little Bear fire that ripped through the canyon in 2012.Two years later, evidence of the wildfire is all over the lake.

“And seeing the little pieces of wood floating around that have been burned is disheartening, especially since it hasn't been cleaned out," said Gleason.

The campsites sit empty. A shadow of what used to be a favorite summer destination.

“You know we thought twice about even coming down here. I'm hoping that there's some regrowth, but I’m not sure how long that's going to take," said Gleason. “We just feel like we're doing this solo, it's a very unsettling feeling."

The city of Alamogordo owns the lake. They say they plan to open the lake next year. Game and Fish stocks the lake, but they haven’t done that since the fire.

According to the city of Alamogordo’s website, it could be 4-5 years before that happens and people can fish again.

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