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Wildfire Threatens Nuclear Weapons Lab

Wildfire Threatens Nuclear Weapons Lab

Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), which is known for designing nuclear weapons, has been shut down Monday due to raging Las Conchas wildfire Image: wikipedia commons

Associated Press

June 27, 2011

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) — A fast-moving wildfire has broken out in New Mexico and forced officials at the Los Alamos National Laboratory to close the site Monday as residents nearby evacuate their homes.

The fire has grown to 3,500 acres, or 5.4 square miles, since it started at around 1 p.m. on Sunday about 12 miles southwest of the town of Los Alamos.

Los Alamos County authorities have issued voluntary evacuation orders for Los Alamos and White Rock. Between 50 and 100 rural homes were under mandatory evacuations.

The laboratory, meanwhile, has activated its emergency operations center. Officials said in a news release that all radioactive and hazardous material was being protected and that the fire had not yet crossed onto the laboratory property.