When Fire Chief Douglass MacDonald came to Los Alamos in December 1992 what he noticed first was the dangerous wilderness/urban interface that surrounded the Hill. Having come from a wildlands fire background, he decided to work to mitigate the imminent danger posed by the overcrowded forest.
In 1994, Los Alamos held an Interagency Fire Symposium. In 1995, the U.S. Forest Service attempted a controlled burn around Western Area, but the community wasn’t ready. People complained about the smoke and cutting down trees.