Wildfires in New Mexico cause Los Alamos National Laboratory to close
The Los Conchas Wildfire has forced the Los Alamos National Laboratory to close. Lab officials stress that radioactive material has been secured.
“All hazardous and radioactive materials remain accounted for and are appropriately protected, as are key Lab facilities such as its proton accelerator and supercomputing centers,” says LANL’s website.
The wildfire is zero percent contained, has grown to between four and 6,000 acres, and officials are asking residents of Los Alamos to consider voluntarily evacuating.
Here’s the full statement on the lab’s site:
Los Alamos National Laboratory emergency officials are closely watching wind directions this morning as the Las Conchas fire continues to burn southwest of the Lab. Winds generally from the northwest overnight have helped keep the fire from entering Lab property, but forecasts call for a change by mid-day. LANL’s Emergency Operations Center remains operational. Observation aircraft are currently conducting aerial surveys to gauge the fire’s growth and current size.
Overnight, as a precaution, the Lab cut natural gas to technical areas in LANL’s remote southwest area. All hazardous and radioactive materials remain accounted for and are appropriately protected, as are key Lab facilities such as its proton accelerator and supercomputing centers. Environmental specialists are mobilized and monitoring air quality, but say the principal concern is smoke. The Lab last night announced it would be closed Monday.
“It’s been a very long night for the fire crews,” said Lab Director Charles McMillan. “There has been an outpouring of support from the region, the state, and the federal government and for that we are profoundly grateful.”