"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)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Update on New Mexico Fire Near Los Alamos Labs and the new Donaldson Fire, June 30, 2011

If the fire burning near Los Alamos was not enough, New Mexico fire fighters are also fighting a fire now in southern New Mexico.  With the steep terrain, fighting the fire from the sky is one of their best choices for the Donaldson fire.

All of us need to be saying our prayers for rain and for the people of New Mexico who have been evacuated and for those who are now fighting these two new fires while wrapping up the huge fire that came out of Arizona.  Their resources have to be stretched to the maximum.

The trained firefighting crews from the Native American Tribes respond to fires throughout the West every year and with their training are a huge help to local firefighters.  Our Western states would be in real problems without the tribal firefighters.  Speaking for a lot of us, the tribal leaders deserve a huge Thank You for providing the resources to do the training and then making these firefighters available to fight these huge forest fires in the West that seem to be getting worse and closer together since you no longer have controlled burns.

Wildfire burns on NM ranch owned by Sam Donaldson

Associated Press | Posted: Thursday, June 30, 2011 6:14 am  
A wildfire burning on part of a southern New Mexico ranch owned by veteran newsman Sam Donaldson is forcing residents to evacuate. 
The fire nearly tripled in size over the past day to more than 43,000 acres Wednesday. It's burning in steep terrain. 
Lincoln County sheriff's deputies and staff with the New Mexico Livestock Board are helping residents and their animals evacuate the Alamo Canyon area. Residents were advised the day before to be prepared to leave. 
Crews are using bulldozers to cut fire lines and are conducting back-burns in an effort to rob fuel from the blaze. 
They're getting help from several single-engine planes and a C130 air tanker. 
The wildfire is believed to have been caused by lightning. 
Read more: St Louis Today
While firefighters are now fighting a new fire, the Las Conchas  fire is still threatening the Los Alamos lab based on how the wind blows or shifts during the day.  They estimate it is about 3% contained and so far firefighters have been successful in their efforts to keep it on the perimeter of the lab as only an acre of lab property has been burned and quickly put out.  Lab tests from an overflight to monitor the smoke has shown no chemicals in the smoke.  

NM fire poised to become largest in state history
P. SOLOMON BANDA, Associated Press, SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN, Associated Press 
Updated 01:46 p.m., Thursday, June 30, 2011

Smoke from the Las Conchas fire fills the sky near the Los Alamos Laboratory in Los Alamos, N.M., Tuesday, June 28, 2011. A vicious wildfire spread through the mountains above the northern New Mexico town on Tuesday, driving thousands of people from their homes as officials at the government nuclear laboratory tried to dispel concerns about the safety of sensitive materials. Photo: Jae C. Hong / AP

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) — With firefighters bracing for another day of strong, erratic winds, a wildfire near the nation's premier nuclear weapons laboratory and a northern New Mexico community was poised Thursday to become the largest in state history.

But fire officials remained confident that the fire would not spread onto the Los Alamos National Laboratory or into the town of Los Alamos. Crews lit brush to create a 10-mile-long burned-out area between the fire and the facility that created the first atomic bomb.

"It's looking good right now," Los Alamos County Fire Chief Doug Tucker said.

The fire has chewed up tens of thousands of acres a day since it started Sunday, charring a total of nearly 145 square miles, or 92,735 acres.

Crews have contained only 3 percent of the fire near Los Alamos. They were bracing for winds that could gust up to 40 mph Thursday afternoon.

"Every day we continue to see an active fire day, and with those winds it still brings the potential for spotting," fire information officer Sandra Lopez said.

"Those are the conditions these guys and gals that are out there on the fire lines fighting the fire are enduring," she said. "It's rugged, steep country. It's hot, and there are late-afternoon winds."

As firefighters hold the line along the lab's southern border, lab officials are trying to determine the extent of how experiments at the facility have been affected by a shutdown caused by the fast-moving fire.
Lab Director Charles McMillan said Wednesday teams will quickly figure out how things stand as soon as they're able to return.

Excerpt:  Read More at Westport News  

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