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LAFD is prepared

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Public safety > Cerro Grande fire happened 15 years ago

By Mike Cote

It was called a “controlled burn” by the National Park Service, but the burn went out of control.
The result was the Cerro Grande Fire of 2000.
Now, 15 years later, the town has largely bounced back from the effects of the fire, which destroyed 357 housing units once it hit town. More than 400 families lost their homes.
This is a situation no one around Los Alamos County wants to see repeated.
Justin Grider, deputy chief of Los Alamos Fire Department, said he’s keeping an eye on current weather patterns around the area, as are departments in northern New Mexico to track potential fire danger.
A weather prediction report is due out sometime in the near future so LAFD and other agencies can have at least some idea what to expect.
In the immediate future, according to Kerry Jones of the National Weather Service in Albuquerque, rains in New Mexico will keep fire danger down. Jones said there is a big low-pressure system hanging out above eastern Arizona that will draw in moisture.
The National Weather Service is predicting Los Alamos to get about a half-inch of rain by this evening.
However, much of New Mexico has seen drought conditions for the past several years and the threat of wildfire is still very much present.


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