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.)