By Randy Economy
Monday, June 27, 2011
INCREDIBLE Time-lapse movie of the Las Conchas Fire, Los Alamos County, June 26 2011. Time-lapse exposures are from a vantage point just north of Santa Fe, home of Polly White & Michael Zeiler. Los Alamos city and labs can be seen to the right of the fire. Via You Tube!
Image via Wikipedia
New Mexico, USA
The famed painted desert of New Mexico is a sea of smoke today as a possibly dangerous and fast moving wild fire has broken out forcing the closing of the fames Los Alamos National Labratory.
|Image via Wikipedia|
|Located of area on fire in red.|
In an official statement just issued by the famed nuclear power plant, Los Alamos National Laboratory will be closed all day Monday, June 27, 2011 "due to a nearby wildfire."
"All laboratory facilities will be closed for all activities and nonessential employees are directed to remain off site. Employees are considered nonessential and 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 www.lanl.gov for 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. The Laboratory’s Emergency Operations Center has been activated."
The fire has already destroyed more than 3,500 acres, and it is out of control and growing hour by hour. Los Alamos County officials are asking residents in Los Alamos and White Rock, especially those with health conditions, to consider a voluntary evacuation.
Known as the "Las Conchas" wildfire, the blaze is "actively burning" near Frijoles Canyon approximately 12 miles away from residential areas. Smoke is filling the normally stunning colorful skies with a thick black smoke.
The blaze is expected to settle into the White Rock and nearby valley area in Monday morning.
According to a written statement issued to the media late Sunday evening:
Image via Wikipedia"Los Alamos County officials are closely monitoring the situation on a minute-to-minute basis. Anyone voluntarily leaving Los Alamos or White Rock from northern Los Alamos should proceed southbound on Diamond Drive either to Trinity Drive or East Jemez Road (White Rock Truck Route). If residents decide to voluntarily evacuate, they should take necessary steps now to remove essential belongings, in case they cannot return to their homes in the near future. In particular, residents are urged to take necessary medications and pets with them.
Here is the latest official data on the blaze:
|Image via Wikipedia|
|The last major blaze in Los Alamos was on April 5, 2000.|
LAS CONCHAS WILDFIRE UPDATE 3:15pm Sunday June 26
Fire Name: Las Conchas
Time/Date Started: Sunday, June 26
Location: Jemez Ranger District, Santa Fe National Forest; approximately 12 miles southwest of Los Alamos off NM 4 at mile marker 35.
Legal Description: T18N, R4E, SEC 4
Cause: Unknown, under investigation
Fuels: Mixed Conifer, Ponderosa Pine
Size: 100 acres +. The fire is actively burning. Running, crowning and spotting up to a half a mile of the head of the fire has been observed.
% Contained: 0
Resources Committed: Multiple ground and air resources are en route and on scene. Type 1 Incident Management Team has been ordered.
Today’s Weather: Red flag conditions (hot temperatures, low humidity, high winds) are present.
Structures/threats: Structures and powerlines. Power and phone lines are down in the area.
Evacuations: Residents living within Cochiti Mesan and Las Conchas are being evacuated at this time. Evacuees are being housed at the La Cueva Fire Station.
Road Closures: NM 4 is closed at Jemez Falls Campground and at NM 510.
Summary: Active fire behavior has been observed with running and spotting on both sides of NM 4.
Smoke: A smoke plume emitting black and grey smoke is visible from Jemez, Bernalillo, Santa Fe, NM 4 and I-25. For more information on how to protect yourself from smoke visit: www.nmfireinfo.com under the Smoke Management tab.
|LATEST PIC: 12:55 a.m. from LOS ALAMOS|