Ancho Fire prompts 'significant' changes

-A A +A
By Roger Snodgrass

ESPA'OLA – Analysis of a 17-acre fire near a weapons test facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory has led to some changes to prevent recurrence.

“They are significant,” said Jay Dallman, who heads the division in charge of detonation testing at the laboratory. “We’ve learned from this issue that we had and we’re going to be making more changes.”

Among the changes, he said, was that future tests during “extreme” or “red flag” conditions must be specifically approved at a higher management level and the Los Alamos County Fire Department must be on site. Also, an engineering study will review the containment-confinement systems to develop additional suitability standards.

Dallman told a meeting of the Community Radiation Monitoring Group (CRMG) at Northern New Mexico College Wednesday that the experiment on June 11 involved the Large-Bore Power Gun Assembly, located in the south-central area of the laboratory, not far from White Rock.

The experiment failed because a fast-closing valve failed to shut properly. Hot gases unexpectedly sprayed from the test equipment and ignited some grasses several feet away outside the test shelter. Under windy conditions, the incipient wildfire quickly exceeded the fire-fighting capability of the test employees.

If you subscribe to the newspaper, you receive FREE access to all the exclusive content of the web site! Simply register to receive uninterrupted access to our award-winning and in-depth local online content!

Renew Current or Past Subscription / Register for Online Subscription

If you currently subscribe or have subscribed in the past to the Los Alamos Monitor, then simply find your account number on your mailing label and enter it below.

Click the question mark below to see where your account ID appears on your mailing label.

Newspaper Acct. ID:
Street Address:
(exactly as it appears on the label)

If you are a subscriber and you do not know your account ID or don't have a copy of your newspaper available that shows the information on the address label you can click continue below to search for your account.

New Subscription/30 Day Free Trial Account

If you are new to the award winning Los Alamos Monitor and wish to get a subscription or simply gain access to our online content then please enter your ZIP code below and continue to setup your account.

ZIP Code:

Create a limited access account.
Register to participate in community forums, post on the community calendar, blog etc. This registration does not give you full access to read our award winning content, etc.

The Los Alamos Monitor | lacirculation@lamonitor.com | 505-662-4185
256 DP Road, Los Alamos, NM 87544
Office Hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday