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Local News

  • Red Cross aid stations ready to assist returning residents

    Early Sunday morning three American Red Cross aid stations were stocked and ready to assist returning evacuees. The aid stations offer shade, water, porta potties and first aid.  

    Aid stations are set up in El Rancho, just past the intersection of SR 30 and SR 502 and at the intersection of SR 4 and SR 502. State Guard and National Guard troops are manning the stations.

    Roving medics will also be on hand to aid motorists along SR 502.

    Traffic was flowing smoothly this morning. Los Alamos County Police Chief Wayne Torpy reported that as of 11:15 a.m. 1,500 residents had returned and traffic flow up SR 502 had been sporadic.

  • Residents allowed to return to Los Alamos

    Los Alamos County Police Chief Wayne Torpy announces that all normal access points to the Los Alamos county townsite are open at 8 a.m.  today with the following two exceptions:  State Road 4 remains closed West of Monterey Drive South, and all access points to the Jemez Mountains to and from Los Alamos County remain closed.

  • Rain in Los Alamos!

    The heavens opened up Saturday evening and delivered some much needed rainfall to the Los Alamos area.

    Meaningful precipitation began to fall about 6 p.m. creating puddles in the roads and driveways around town. Whether the rain will have a meaningful impact on the Las Conchas wildfire that has besieged the town for the last week remains to be seen.

    Some 12,000 residents remain displaced under a mandatory evacuation order that was issued by the county Monday afternoon.

    As of 6:55 p.m. the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration monitoring devices at Los Alamos Airport recorded 0.05 of an inch of rain.

  • Squirrel sparks one-acre fire on LANL property

    A squirrel touched contacts in an electrical substation’s transformer today at Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Technical Area 53, the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE) Facility substation.
    The transformer sparked a small fire on the LANSCE property,approximately one acre, and Los Alamos Fire Department staff extinguished it within a short period.
    As a result, the Los Alamos Truck Route was closed.
    NM 502 is open for essential emergency personnel and there are security checkpoints on that route.
    "I think the Truck Route will reopen soon," said lab spokesman Kevin Roarke.
    The truck route did reopen to traffic by mid-afternoon.
    The Laboratory Emergency Operations Center has been activated as a precautionary measure.

  • Nationwide Incident Command System assures coordinated response to fires

    By Friday afternoon there were 1,201 fire personnel fighting the Las Conchas fire. And do not round out that “1.” “That ‘1’ is worth their weight in gold,” said Terry McDermott, Communications and Marketing manager at Valles Caldera. These firefighters are members of six hotshot crews, 27 hand crews and several Type I, II and III crews from all over the country. The Navajo Hot Shots are here, as are crews from Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, California, Oregon and Washington.

    The deployment of these teams is coordinated through the Incident Command System; systems created over 30 years ago to train and coordinate all federal and state fire agencies.

  • County making plans for LA evacuees’ return

    Los Alamos County recalled approximately 100 “essential” employees Friday to begin preparing to re-open the community. They have set up a County Recovery Operations Center (ROC) at Mesa Public Library, according to Acting Assistant County Administrator Anne Laurent.
    The county’s ROC will be focusing on planning activities and determining what steps need to be taken. Until today, county staff had been limited to emergency responders who had co-located with LANL counterparts at the Joint Emergency Operations Center located on LANL property.
    With the fire moving further north Friday and no longer threatening the lab or most of the community, both entities are beginning to gear up now for re-opening operations.

  • State EOC monitors Las Conchas Fire

    SANTA FE — The state activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Santa Fe five hours after the Las Conchas Fire began at 1 p.m. last Sunday.

    “We are the hammer for the local (EOCs),” said Response and Recovery Bureau Chief Don Scott. “The EOC is how we make sure every state agency is working together.”

    A map projected the massive boundaries of the Las Conchas Fire on the wall in the EOC’s briefing facility. The blaze has scorched more than 113,000 acres of forestland, making it the largest fire in state history.

  • National Guard secures town

    Just about everyone has heard a joke or two about calling the National Guard when a situation gets dire. They seem to be the go-to guys and gals that can take care of just about anything.

    Los Alamos County was in just that type of a situation Sunday when the Las Conchas Fire broke out in the Jemez Springs area and quickly spread toward Los Alamos National Lab, Bandelier National Monument and the town of Los Alamos. As a result, Gov. Susana Martinez called on the Army National Guard to help with evacuation and security efforts in Los Alamos.

    Approximately 115 men and women from various units across New Mexico descended on Los Alamos Sunday Night.

  • Eateries Pitch In To Feed Firefighters

    The chance to take a break and refuel is necessary for everyone but it could not be more essential for the brave men and women fighting the Las Conchas Fire. Quick to address this need several groups of Los Alamos citizens sprang into action seeking donations and volunteering their labor to get meals to all those emergency responders.

    Local restaurants and Elks Lodge #2083 have opened the doors of their buildings and their refrigerators to make sure that all get fed.

    Eppie Trujillo and Mark Smith helped organize the effort put forth by the Elks. “Our goal is to put a smile on their faces and make sure that everyone is well fed. The  Elks’ motto is we care, we share,” Trujillo said.

  • LANL enters recovery mode

    Los Alamos National Laboratory on Friday declared an end to its state of emergency and moved into operational recovery mode.

    The change in status allows resources previously assigned to the lab to be relocated to assist ongoing firefighting efforts in the region, said LANL Director Charlie McMillan.

    "On Monday, we put the lab to an operational emergency status and we worked like that the entire week," McMillan said Saturday morning. "Around 4 p.m., we took the status to recovery mode. After input from fire chief Doug Tucker, we were assured the risk to be lower to the lab. This allows the resources that were focused on the lab to be focused on other fires."