Today's News

  • Los Alamos helped the helpers as fire raged

    Local charity Famine to Feast made good on their promise Sunday, delivering 2,000 pounds of snacks, water and toiletries donated by Los Alamos residents and businesses to firefighters still battling the Cajete Fire in the Jemez Mountains.

    As soon as the fire started Thursday, Famine to Feast began a donation drive where residents and businesses could contribute.

    Two pickup trucks loaded with supplies stopped in at the La Cueva Volunteer Fire Department to drop everything off Sunday morning.

    La Cueva Chief Lee Taylor welcomed the donations from Los Alamos, saying it was more than enough.

    “With this quantity, we’ll share it with the other fire departments in the area,” Taylor said. “It’s obviously more than we’ll need for this incident, but we will use it for future incidents. We have lots of search and rescues we do, more fires, it will definitely be a benefit to the firefighters and the rescuers.”

    The supplies will be distributed as needed to the firefighters this weekend. Helping Famine To Feast with their efforts was Smith’s, Los Alamos National Bank, Ruby K’s, Metzger’s and High Mesa Dental and Los Alamos Medical Center.

  • El Cajete Fire 80 percent contained

    The El Cajete Fire is 80 percent contained, the roads are open and everyone that was evacuated was back in their homes by Sunday night, according to officials with the California Interagency Incident Management Team, the command that has been overseeing the fire.

    There were 323 fire personnel working the fire Sunday.

    “Everything is good, everything is progressing as expected and we’re at 80 percent containment,” California Interagency Incident Commander Mark von Tillow told community members assembled at the Jemez Mountain Baptist Church Sunday evening. “We will continue on working securing the line, mopping up the places where we built a line, controlling monitoring, making sure nothing gets out.”

    The bulk of the fire is between NM 4 and Los Griegos Peak.

    The California Interagency Incident Management Team is also watching the weather, as thunderstorms are expected in the area in the next few days.

    “We are making sure everything’s secured and that we’re ready to respond to anything happening in the area if we have to,” von Tillow said. 

  • El Cajete Fire is 65 percent contained

    According to the Santa Fe National Forest Office, El Cajete Fire has been 65 percent contained by fire crews. The source of the fire has been reported as an abandoned campfire.

    The fire is burning in the Jemez Ranger District on the Santa Fe National Forest, on both sides of NM Highway 4 along the southern boundary of the Valles Caldera National Preserve. The Cajete Fire started approximately one mile northeast of Vallecitos de los Indios (Sierra de los Pinos) on Thursday morning. The fire area runs along the East Fork of the Jemez River and is west of the 2011 Las Conchas Fire burn scar and southeast of the 2013 Thompson Ridge Fire burn scar.        

    There are approximately 323 personnel fighting the flames, including four Type 1 Crews, five Type 2 crews, nine engines, one dozer, three water tenders, two Type 1 helicopters, one Type 2 helicopter and two Type 3 helicopters.

    California Interagency Incident Management Team 3, led by Mark von Tillow, Incident Commander, is managing the fire.

    There was minimal growth overnight and the fire now covers 1,367 acres. Today, fire crews will patrol and monitor established containment line along the northern perimeter of the fire, while additional crews construct and improve line on the southern perimeter.

  • LA County undersheriff found dead

    Los Alamos County Undersheriff John Horne has died.

    Sheriff Marco Lucero released a statement Friday evening. Horne was found in his home early Friday afternoon by his father.

    "Undersheriff Horne was an honorable man who served the community," Lucero said. "His Christian faith was his anchor, and we know that he is being welcomed into the Kingdom."

    Horne was an active member of Lucero's team, and a contributing member of the community. Last year, he participated in a crime discussion panel where he and other members of the community talked about issues of crime and homelessness in Los Alamos. 

    Horne urged the community to find local solutions, especially when it came to homelessness of local residents.

    "There was a situation where we had to evict a person and there was absolutely no place for them to go. This was in the wintertime and we have to have some place to take them. We eventually ended up taking her to Santa Fe, but even there she was out of her element and put more stress on her, increasing the problems with her mental health issues," Horne said. "I think there would be a room or two the county can get their hands on to house them."

  • Cajete Fire continues to burn

    El Cajete Fire, which began at 10:45 a.m. on Thursday, continues to blaze through the Jemez Mountains.  
    According to New Mexico State Forestry, the fire has now grown to 1,315 acres.
    No structures have been burned.

    NM 4 continues to remain closed from the intersection of NM 4 and NM 126.

    The fire area has had little to no moisture over the last two weeks, and hot, dry conditions are expected to continue.
    Evacuations remain in place for Ruby Hole tract homes on Bennett Lane, Sierra Los Pinos, Cox Ranch and Valles Caldera. Jemez Mountain Baptist Church is being used for evacuees.

  • Rael stands trial for child pornography

    Los Alamos resident David Rael stood trial on this week for charges of manufacturing and possession of child pornography. Rael allegedly downloaded several files that depicted boys and girls under the age of 18 involved in various sexual situations with adults through the file sharing program called Ares.

    When asked about the files on his computer, Rael attributed the questionable videos to being blind in one eye and being intoxicated at the time of the alleged downloads.
    Rael, defended by Marc Edwards, holds the position of whether the videos in question was ever opened or watched in its entirety by the defendant.

    Rael was arrested for driving while intoxicated and causing an accident Jan 2016. He pleaded no contest to his DWI and was sentenced to 364 days in jail.

    In total, Rael is facing three counts of manufacturing child pornography, one count of possession and one count of distributing.

    The state gave its opening statement, which ran through the details of the case. “All the evidence and testimonies that the state will present today will show the defendant guilty of three counts of manufacturing child pornography, one count of distributing child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography,” stated Assistant Attorney General Celedonia Munoz.

  • Aquatomics dominate at LOBO Open

    A total of 13 members of the Los Alamos Aquatomics descended upon the University of New Mexico this past weekend for the LOBO Aquatic Club Meet, finishing among the top teams.

    All together, the 13 swimmers competed in 91 individual events, many finishing with top times over the three-day event.

    One of the top competitors for the Aquatomics was 12-year-old Andy Corliss, who competed in the 11-and-12-year-old division. He swam in a total of nine events, finishing first in six of those events.

    His top finishes came in the 50-meter freestyle, the 100-meter freestyle, the 200-meter freestyle, the 400-meter freestyle, the 50-meter butterfly and the 200-meter individual medley.

    He finished no lower than third in his age range in any of his nine events.

    Also competing in the 11-and-12-year-old division was Ming Lo, who also competed in nine events over the weekend. He claimed first place finishes in two of those events, and finished as the runner-up in five other events, often finishing directly behind Corliss.

    Andy’s brother Max was another top competitor for Los Alamos, competing in the 13-and-14-year-old division. He competed in nine events, claiming first place finishes in both the 200-meter backstroke and the 200-meter breaststroke. He claimed top-five finishes in five other events.

  • Update: El Cajete fire now over 700 acres

    Things are expected to get worse before they get better for firefighters battling the El Cajete Fire this weekend. The fire has grown from a 50-acre fire yesterday afternoon to a 700 acre fire this morning, U.S. Forest Service officials said.

    So far, personnel fighting the fire have managed to save all structures in the path of the fire.

    Temperatures are expected to stay in the low-to-mid 80s throughout the weekend with minimum relative humidity levels between four and eight percent. The fire is heading in an eastern, southeasterly pattern, which hasn’t changed from yesterday.

    NM4 continues to remain closed from the intersection of NM 4 and NM 126. No new evacuations have taken place yesterday. The Sandoval County Sheriff’s office has set up an escort at mile marker 27 NM 4 for residents who need to go back to their houses to retrieve pets and valuable items.

    The strategy for today is “full suppression.”  U.S. Forest Service officials said in their latest update. About 130 personnel are on the scene today with multiple engines, one bulldozer, a helicopter, three air tankers, one Very Large Air Tanker (VLAT) and one lead plane.

    The fire area has had little to no moisture over the last two weeks, and hot, dry conditions are expected to continue.

  • Pojoaque Fire Department puts out fire on NM 502

    Late Thursday evening, the Pojoaque Fire Department responded to a fire on Highway 502 near Mino and Greg’s Automotive and Towing.

    The fire started on the side of the road, but the road was not shut down to traffic. The fire crews were able to successfully put out the fire.

  • Fire in Jemez Mountains forces evacuation, West Jemez Road closure

    The El Cajete Fire that started at 10:47 a.m. in the Jemez Mountains has grown to 700 acres as of 9 p.m. Thursday, according to forest service officials.

    The fire has forced the evacuation and the closure of the Valles Caldera National Preserve, and is slowly moving eastward toward Los Alamos.

    Wind and speed of the fire were a factor as of 7:30 p.m. Thursday, but according to one report, the fire would have to continue burning 15 miles eastward before it hit Bandelier National Monument and then the White Rock area or the Los Alamos National Laboratory property.

    The speed of the fire was burning at 35 acres per hour, according Lt. Keith Elder of the Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office.

    About 200 residents had been evacuated by 6 p.m. Gov. Susana Martinez has activated the emergency operations center.

    "New Mexicans know better than most just how devastating wildfires can be, and as we face this year's fire season together, we're also reminding everyone to keep safety in mind and be prepared," Martinez said in a statement.

    The fire started at mile marker 33 on N.M. 4 in the Sierra de los Pinos area, north of Jemez Springs, according to the U.S. Forest Service. The official cause of the fire has not been determined.