Los Alamos, NM – The Las Conchas wildfire began yesterday afternoon and has already grown to about 49,000 acres.
Authorities ordered a mandatory evacuation evacuation of Los Alamos. The town is famous for the nearly Los Alamos National Lab, where the atomic bomb was developed during World War II. Nuclear materials are stored on lab property today.
Joe Martz lives in Los Alamos and works at the lab. He says the smoke from the wildfire came in fast, "Almost looked like a mushroom coming from the Jemez mountains behind the town. This fire grew more rapidly than any I can remember in 30 years."
A one-acre spot fire on lab property was extinguished. Officials at the lab say all nuclear materials are accounted for and protected. Other communities in the area are under voluntary evacuations.
Evacuation Advice from www.nmfireinfo.wordpress.com:
Ready - Take personal responsibility and prepare before the threat of a wildland fire so your home is ready in case of a fire. Create defensible space by clearing brush away from your home. Use fire-resistant landscaping and harden your home with fire-safe construction measures. Assemble emergency supplies and belongings in a safe spot. Plan escapes routes. Make sure all those residing within the home know the plan of action.
Set - Act immediately. Pack your vehicle with your emergency items. Remember your six P's: people, personal computers, pets, pills, papers and pictures. Stay aware of the latest news and information on the fire from local media and your local fire department.
Go - Leave early! Follow your personal action plan. Doing so will not only support your safety, but will allow firefighters to best maneuver resources to combat the fire.