New Mexico Wildfires Force Evacuation At Los Alamos Nuclear Labratory

A wildfire looms in the hills above Los Alamos National Labs Sunday.

New Mexico wildfires force evacuation at Los Alamos nuclear labratory (NY Daily News, June 27, 2011):

Raging wildfires in New Mexico forced the evacuation of the famed nuclear lab at Los Alamos Monday, though officials insist that radioactive material is secure.

Fires have burned as close as one mile from the government lab – threatening buildings, power lines and gas lines, officials said.

“Lab emergency crews have been dispatched across the lab to protect key facilities and materials,” said lab spokesman Jeff Berger.

“Protected areas include all hazardous and radioactive facilities and our proton accelerator and super-computing centers.”

About 100 non-essential personnel were cleared from the area around the lab, where the first atomic bomb was built.

Gov. Susanna Martinez toured the lab’s emergency operations center late Sunday and ordered the state National Guard to the area.

“My administration will make every effort to provide support for local emergency response crews,” she said.

Fire crews have been battling wildfires all across the Southwest and Texas, with 41 large-scale blazes torching more than 1.4 million acres.

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