Lab Dir. Briefs Nm Governor, Congressional Delegation, Pueblo Reps
Incident: Las Conchas Wildfire
10 p.m. News Media Information: 505-820-1226
Lab Director Briefs New Mexico Governor,
Congressional Delegation, Pueblo Representatives
LOS ALAMOS, New Mexico June 27, 2011 - Los Alamos National Laboratory and National Nuclear Security Administration officials today briefed the New Mexico congressional delegation, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, and representatives from neighboring Pueblos on the status of the Las Conchas wildfire and its potential impacts on Lab property.
LANL Director McMillan thanked emergency crews who quickly extinguished a spot fire this afternoon in the Lab's remote southwestern area.
"Our efforts in recent years to thin ground fuels around the Laboratory, coupled with the reduction in fuels caused by historic fires in the area, are helping protect the Laboratory and townsite," LANL Director Charles McMillan said in an afternoon conference call. "The Lab community is incredibly thankful for the regional, state, and federal resources coming to our aid."
The Governor said, after visiting Espanola's Santa Claran Event Center, where some evacuees are sheltering, "I was amazed by their attitude; the spirit of the people there. They were so grateful." She added that evacuees also appreciated how organized the evacuation had been.
At the Lab's Technical Area 49, the fire jumped across New Mexico State Route 4, but landed in an area that had been thinned of ground fuels in recent years.
NNSA Site Office Manager Kevin Smith said, "Lessons learned from the Cerro Grande fire are being applied today," and reiterated that Department of Energy senior leaders had pledged highest-level support and cooperation.
Additionally, the Laboratory has called in teams to monitor its network of 60-plus AIRNET monitoring stations and has high-volume air samplers ready to deploy.
"We're doing this as a precaution," McMillan said. "The health and safety of this community and our neighbors is our highest priority."
No Lab facilities face immediate threat and all radioactive and hazardous materials are accounted for and protected.
Los Alamos residents should tune to 1610 AM for emergency information.
A Joint Information Center has been established at the Regional Development Corporation, 2209 Miguel Chavez Rd. in Santa Fe. Media should call 505-820-1226 for updates and monitor www.nmfireinfo.com for official fire updates.
About Los Alamos National Laboratory (www.lanl.gov)
Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, is operated by Los Alamos National Security, LLC, a team composed of Bechtel National, the University of California, The Babcock & Wilcox Company, and URS for the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.
Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.