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Local News

  • Investigators find cause of Las Conchas wildfire

    Los Alamos fire chief Doug Tucker said earlier this week that he thought the Las Conchas Fire was started by a downed power line.

    Tucker was right.

    An interagency investigative team led by New Mexico State Forestry has determined that the Las Conchas Fire was caused by a fallen tree that caught fire after coming into contact with nearby power lines, according to New Mexico State Forester Tony Delfin.

    Investigators from New Mexico State Forestry, the USDA Forest Service, New Mexico State Police and Sandoval County conducted the investigation and were on scene shortly after the fire started on Sunday, June 26. Since then, the fire has burned more than 121,248 acres.

  • Officials warn residents not to put trash out until pickup day

    The Los Alamos Fire Department has issued a request that citizens not put spoiled food in their trash can until their normal trash collection day because of a high level of bear activity in the area.

    Deputy fire chief Mark Sandoval explained that his crews went door to door throughtout the western area and Denver steels picking up trash from people's yards that bears had knocked over trash cans in search of food. They also secured any lawn equipment and other personal property found on front lawns close to homes for safety measures.

    For more information, contact the county's 311 call center.

  • Smith’s, Co-op ready for business

    Returning Los Alamos residents will find both Smith's Food & Drug and the Los Alamos Cooperative Market ready to receive them, although there may be a few items missing from the shelves. The fact that the town never lost power has facilitated the re-opening of both stores.

  • National Guard pulls out
  • Los Alamos Medical Center reopening is underway

    At 8 a.m. Saturday morning, a meticulous cleaning of the Los Alamos County Medical Center got underway. The center has to be scrubbed to its very core – including the entire ventilation duct system – to remove any trace of ash from the Las Conchas wildfire. Ash not only poses a health hazard, it could damage sensitive medical equipment and cause it to malfunction.

    The emergency room has already been cleaned and inspected by the New Mexico Department of Health and is open to receive patients.

  • Town Halls and News Conferences CANCELED

    There is no Town Hall meeting today at 2 p.m. at White Rock Baptist Church. The News Conference at 3:30 p.m. is also canceled. With the townsite now open for repopulation, news conferences will only be called on an as-needed basis. County public safety officials will continue to participate in the IC news conferences at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. if needed.

     

  • 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.