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CHIRICAHUA NATIONAL MONUMENT - NEWS RELEASE 2012-10
For Immediate Release
August 29, 2012
Contact: Chiricahua NM Visitor Center, 520-824-3560 ext. 302
Bonita Canyon Drive and Campground Scheduled to Reopen on Thursday
The upper portion of Bonita Canyon Drive and the Bonita Canyon Campground in Chiricahua National Monument will reopen at noon on Thursday, August 30. Heavy rains and resulting flash flooding forced the closure of both the scenic road and the campground on August 17.
Monument staff began assessing the damage and cleaning up debris immediately following the storms. The sheer amount of work that needed to be done, along with additional rainfall leading to more flooding over this past weekend, has kept the roadway and campground closed for nearly two weeks. "The safety of our visitors and staff is always our first priority," Superintendent Lane Baker said on Tuesday. "Now that the roadway is safe for travel, we are looking forward to welcoming folks that want to get outside and enjoy their Labor Day weekend in a National Park Service site."
Local residents and visitors are reminded that monsoon season is not over; weather conditions can change rapidly at this time of year. Areas that have experienced large fires, such as the Horseshoe II Fire that burned over 200,000 acres in and around Chiricahua NM in 2011, have an increased risk of flash flooding. Floods are significantly larger following fires and floodwater can carry debris that could be hazardous to campers and their property. During monsoon season campers should never camp in washes or low lying areas.
Contact the Chiricahua NM visitor center at 520-824-3560 ext. 302 for more information about current conditions or visit www.nps.gov/chir.