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County issues safety precautions for returning residents

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Following reopening of the townsite at 8 a.m.this morning Los Alamos County officials announced the following safety and recovery measures.

Returning Residents Asked to Stay Home.  As the repopulation of the townsite continues throughout the day, residents who have arrived back at their homes are asked to avoid driving for 4-8 hours.  This minimizes overall traffic on main and side streets, to improve safety and efficient traffic flows for those just returning. Residents are also reminded to refrain from leaving valuables out in their driveway unattended to prevent thefts.

Shelters Open Until Last Departure.  Shelters at the Santa Claran Resort Center and the Cities of Gold will remain open until the last evacuee has departed.

Fire Still Visible. The Las Conchas fire along with the preventative back burning create thick smoke visible from the Los Alamos townsite.  At night, fire activity can also appear closer than it actually is.  Residents are asked to call the 311 Customer Care Center at 662-8333 throughout the night if concerned about fire activity within general visibility of your home. Residents are asked to only use the 911 emergency phone numbers if fire is a clear and immediate threat to their structure.

Respect Fire & Safety Workers. Firefighters continue with containment measures to maintain and strengthen the anchor points and lines which protect the townsite from the fire. The perimeter area from Quemazon to Guaje Pines Cemetery is among the many areas being strengthened.  Residents are asked to be patient, and to be aware that public safety and many other workers are still engaged in recovery efforts.

Emergency Room Open. The Los Alamos Medical Center Emergency Room is open. Curt Smith, Interim CEO, would like to remind those residents that have cardiac or respiratory conditions that they may experience some discomfort due to the continued smoke in the air particularly between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. when the smoke has a tendency to settle over the area. The Department of Health will continue to work with Los Alamos Medical Center today to re-open the Inpatient and Outpatient services as soon as the remediation of those areas areas is complete.

Where to Get Updates. The county’s recovery operations are underway with nearly 100 county employees who have been called back to help. Residents are asked to call the 311 Customer Care Center (662-8333 from cell phones) or visit www.losalamosnm.usfor continuing updates.  The regular 2 p.m. Town Halls in White Rock are cancelled. Los Alamos county officials will continue briefing the media each day. These updates become available via local and regional print and broadcast media.

No Hiking in Burned Areas.  Residents must stay off all trails and lands in any burned area.  There will be trees falling, hot spots, and other safety issues. Although not a current “burned area,” Pueblo, Bayo, and all of Los Alamos Canyon are closed because of fire threat.  

Mail and Deliveries. UPS and FED X indicated that deliveries to Los Alamos County residents will resume on Tuesday, July 5.  The US Postal Service will no longer be delivering mail via the Pojoaque High School pick-up location.  Normal postal service will resume Tuesday, July 5.

Essential Service Only Continue.  Los Alamos County continues on an Essential Services only basis, with safety, fire, police, utilities, 311 Customer Care Center operating provisionally.  Atomic City Transit will resume operations Tuesday July 5.

Flood Caution. Please stay out of drainage areas because any significant rain will cause flooding. 

Animal Activity. Forest animals roving the townsite area have increased in number to escape the fire.  Please keep domestic pets in fenced areas or indoors to prevent altercations.  Please contact Fish and Game Service (www.wildlife.state.nm.us; 505-476-8000) to inquire about  or report any threatening animal activity.