Cajete, Bonita, Round fires update

Cajete, Bonita, Round fires update

David Lynch
June 25, 2017 03:55 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Below is an update on some of the fires that have sparked across New Mexico in recent weeks.



According to the Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office, the Cajete blaze in the Jemez Mountains that temporarily displaced several hundred residents form their homes is 96 percent contained.

The cause of the fire was an abandoned campfire, and it has grew to about 1,412 acres in size. Over 100 firefighters have been assigned to fight the fire since June 15. Continuously hot and dry conditions made it difficult for the fire to be contained quickly, but county officials say chances of rain for the area may help.

The priorities for fire crews remains putting out hot spots, many of which may be located underground, and addressing hazards from the aftermath of the fire.

The burned area is closed to the public, but Highway 4 – which at one point had the fire burning on both sides of it – is open, and motorists are asked to use caution and be aware of firefighters still in the area.

Currently, fireworks are prohibited in the Santa Fe National Forest and campfires are only allowed in established rings at campsites. Visitors are expected to put out all campfire they start, as well as call 911 if they see one that is abandoned.


The Round Fire in the Gila National Forest was sparked by lightning and is 0 percent contained, but officials say they are letting it burn in order to restore important habitats and diversity the ecosystem.

It is a low-intensity blaze that is nearly 7,300 acres in size as of Sunday afternoon. It is being monitored by fire crews.

There are no area or road closures due to the blaze, which is specifically located in the Aldo Leopold Wilderness, but smoky conditions may be experienced for people traveling on FS Road 226 or State Highway 59.


At nearly 7,500 acres in size and 85 percent contained, officials also have the Bonita Fire under control in Bonita Canyon. Nearly 300 personnel have worked to get the fire under control, and it’s currently categorized as a low-intensity blaze.

As with the Round Fire, officials are also relying on the remnants of Bonita to recycle necessary nutrients back through the soil.

Crews are going to be monitoring the fire as thunderstorms move through the area and, along with them, potential lightning strikes that may start new fires.

The area being impacted by the fire is still closed off to the public.


David Lynch

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