May 4, 2000
Despite unfavorable spring conditions, a “controlled burn” begins at Bandelier National Monument near Cerro Grande peak. The burn is started by the National Park Service.
May 5, 2000
High winds cause fire to jump perimeter of controlled burn.
May 7, 2000
The now out-of-control wildfire, which has spread to approximately 3,000 acres, threatens residents in Los Alamos. As a precautionary measure, Western Area goes under a voluntary evacuation.
May 8, 2000
Los Alamos Fire Department is called in to aid in the firefighting efforts.
May 9, 2000
Air support is called in to fight fires in Water Canyon.
May 10, 2000
A general voluntary evacuation of Los Alamos is called. Gusting winds of up to 75 mph have pushed the fire into Los Alamos Canyon. The town is almost fully evacuated in less than five hours.
That night, the fire hits the townsite and burns more than 200 buildings, mostly houses in Western Area.
May 11, 2000
At approximately 1 a.m., a general evacuation of White Rock is called. Residents mostly evacuate to surrounding areas.
May 12, 2000
Initial damage assessments are released from the fire.