"A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men
from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
(Thomas Jefferson)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Facing wildfire threat, Los Alamos National Lab closes

UPDATE:  June 27, 2011, 10:50 a.m mdt
Las Conchas wildfire at 43,000+ acres; County under voluntary evacuation; Lab closed today--photos added 
Sunday, June 26, 2011 at 2:14 pm (Updated: June 27, 10:50 am) 
A wind-whipped wildfire in Jemez Springs has charred roughly 43,000 acres and the Los Alamos Fire Department and other agencies ratcheted up their efforts to battle the blaze. 
A Type I Incident Management has been ordered and in its latest advisory, the Forest Service said, three helicopters, two Hotshot crews, nine hand crews, five dozers and 13 engines have been fighting the fire and more are expected to arrive. 
"This is an interagency fire fighting effort," Forest Service spokesman Lawrence Lujan said. "In fire management we all work together. We are working with local, state and federal agencies."
Los Alamos National Laboratory activated its Emergency Operations Center and announced it would be closed Monday. The blaze had spread to within a mile of the lab's southwest boundary. 
Excerpt:  Read More at Los Alamos Monitor

Amazing that the Breaking News on Los Alamos closing because of this fire came from Computerworld, not CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, etc.  The fire has been covered in New Mexico outlets but we think the fact that this fire is even a threat to Los Alamos is bigger news than the breaking news alerts in my inbox for violent video games can now be sold to anyone per the Supreme Court, that an AZ law on campaign financing has been overturned or Venus and Serena Williams both have been eliminated from play at Wimbledon.
Facing wildfire threat, Los Alamos National Lab closesGovernment research lab is home to IBM Roadrunner, first system to break petaflop barrierBy Patrick Thibodeau
June 27, 2011 11:23 AM ET 
Computerworld - The Los Alamos National Laboratory complex in New Mexico was closed Monday as an advancing wildfire threatened the U.S. Department of Energy research facility.
In an update posted on the lab's Web site at 8:20 a.m. MDT (10:20 EDT), Lab officials said that winds from the northwest have kept the fire from advancing on Lab property, "but forecasts call for a change by midday."

The threat is coming from the Las Conchas wildfire that began at about 1 p.m. Sunday on private land approximately 12 miles southwest of Los Alamos, according to the Incident Information System, an interagency reporting system.

The lab houses some of the world's most powerful supercomputers, including IBM's $100 million Roadrunner supercomputer that began running in 2008.

Roadrunner was the first system in the world to reach a petaflop performance, or one thousand trillion (one quadrillion) sustained floating point operations per second.

In a statement, the lab said that "observation aircraft are currently conducting aerial surveys to gauge the fire's growth and current size. Overnight, as a precaution, the Lab cut natural gas to technical areas in LANL's remote southwest area." 
The lab also reported that "all hazardous and radioactive materials remain accounted for and are appropriately protected, as are key Lab facilities such as its proton accelerator and supercomputing centers." 
"It's been a very long night for the fire crews," said Lab Director Charles McMillan in a statement. "There has been an outpouring of support from the region, the state and the federal government and for that we are profoundly grateful."

According to a twitter stream from KOB4, a local television news station and its reporters, including @GadiRoget, the fire as of 10 a.m. EDT had not breached lab property. More than 43,000 acres are involved.

A Webcam of nearby ski areas shows a large area dense with smoke.

To follow the fire on Twitter, hashtags in use include: #nmfire #losalamos #lanl #conchas. 
Source:  Computer World

No comments: