Escaped ember started LANL fire

-A A +A
By Roger Snodgrass

A spokesperson for Los Alamos National Laboratory provided additional information about a fire that broke out Wednesday afternoon on laboratory property.

Kevin Roark of the LANL communications office said this morning that the fire was caused by an unanticipated failure of a piece of a scientific apparatus under development for the Nevada Test Site. He said a piece of equipment was under an evaluation using a gunpowder-like explosive.

“We were doing some performance testing on a very specialized high-speed valve,” he said. “For reasons that are still undetermined the valve failed and some hot gasses escaped and ignited some nearby grasses.”

He said the people on the scene were trained to put out spot fires and that they made a “valiant attempt” to do so.

“Somehow or other an ember got loose and got into the surrounding area.” Roark said. “It was picked up by the winds and the fire got away from them.

The Los Alamos Fire Department was called to the scene immediately and joined by some 40 firefighters from the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, Santa Clara Pueblo and the laboratory’s emergency management division.

Two slurry drops were conducted as a precaution, Roark said.

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