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Los Alamos Fire Explodes to 50,000 acres

Posted by feww on June 28, 2011

Las Conchas wildfire burning near Los Alamos grows by a whopping 850 percent

The fire briefly entered the grounds of Los Alamos National Laboratory, but was reportedly beaten back by firefighters.


Fire near Los Alamos National Laboratory

The flames have not yet reached buildings on 28,000-acre lab complex, and authorities said there was little threat to plutonium facility on the northeast side of the complex, according to reports.

“The facility is very well protected from any kind of wildland fire threat,” said a lab spokesman.

In May 2000 a wildfire destroyed several buildings within the complex causing at least $1 billion in damage, he said.

Cerro Grande fire consumed nearly 50,000 acres destroying several hundred homes and about 100 buildings within LANL complex 11 years ago.


Las Conchas wildfire. Freeze frame from a video clip.

The fire started about 1:00 pm on Sunday, June 26, 2011 and is currently zero percent contained.

“The fire burned actively all day to the north/northeast. Running, crowning, and spotting up to a half a mile of the head of the fire was observed.” Said a fire report.

Fire Location

Jemez Ranger District, Santa Fe National Forest; approximately 12 miles southwest of Los Alamos off NM 4 at mile marker 35.


Las Conchas Fire map. Click image to enlarge.

Evacuations

The city of Los Alamos is under MANDATORY evacuation as of 1:45 pm (June 26). White Rock remains under VOLUNTARY evacuation. Cochiti Mesa, Las Conchas, Bandelier National Monument, and campgrounds near the fire were evacuated yesterday. There were approximately 100 residents evacuated from Cochiti Mesa and Las Conchas, and no evacuees reported to the evacuation center at La Cueva Fire Station.

Los Alamos National Labs

The Los Alamos National Laboratory will be closed due to the fire. All laboratory facilities will be closed for all activities, and nonessential employees are directed to remain off site. Employees that are considered nonessential should not report to work unless specifically directed by their line managers. Employees should check local news sources, the LANL Update Hotline (505.667.6622) and the LANL web page http://www.lanl.gov fo updates. All radioactive and hazardous material is appropriately accounted for and protected. LANL staff is coordinating the on-site response and supporting the county and federal fire response.

Threats to Structures and powerlines

  • Power and phone lines are down in the area.
  • All aircraft in the are have been grounded due to the smoke and other hazards.

Pacheco Fire: 2 miles north of Santa Fe Ski Basin


Source: InciWeb

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