Infrastructure and property in Los Alamos County escaped the Las Conchas fire relatively unscathed.
However, 2,100 acres of the Los Alamos Canyon watershed burned, and the aftermath has the potential to destroy a project 10 years in the making.
High to moderate intensity burns, which completely consume a forest, burned roughly 60 percent of the canyon watershed.
With no pine needles, leaves, brush or duff layer (layer of plant debris on the ground) to slow rainfall and allow it time to soak into the ground, runoff is intensified. High intensity burns–which occur in highly flammable pine forests–magnify the problem.