Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in New Mexico will remain closed through Thursday, June 30, as the Las Conchas Fire is threatening the nuclear lab.
Laboratory facilities will be closed for all activities and nonessential employees are directed to remain off site. Personnel are considered nonessential unless they have received specific instructions from their supervisors to report to the Laboratory, the Lab said in a statement.
Los Alamos National Laboratory, which is known for designing nuclear weapons, has been closed since Monday due to raging Las Conchas wildfire.
Las Alamos Lab in New Mexico is one of the largest employers in northern New Mexico with about 9,000 employees. The lab was founded during World War II to develop the first nuclear weapons.
Las Conchas wildfire was sparked on June 26 on a private land near Jemez Ranger District in the Santa Fe National Forest.
The fire, which has been contained 3 percent, has burnt 60,741 acres and destroyed 12 homes.
Approximately 341 personnel including three hotshot crews and nine handcrews, with four dozers and 12 engines are fighting to contain the fire.
Fire activity was active with short range spotting and short crown runs, with fire growth occurring in all directions. The fire had some thunderstorm activity. However no measurable precipitation occurred over the fire.
North - Firefighters scouted potential fireline and burnout opportunities, including opportunities for aerial ignition on peaks to help moderate fire intensity. There is active fire in the Pajarito Ski Resort. Firefighters are providing structural protection in the area. Firefighters constructed dozer line around a slopover north of State Road (SR) 4. Aerial resources were unable to fly in the afternoon due to smoky conditions in the area.
East side - Firefighters are mopping up along State Road (SR) 4. The area is looking good east of SR 501. Structural protection continues in Bandelier National Monument.
South side - The fire is backing down several drainages. Firefighters are scouting for potential fireline south of the fire.
The acting Los Alamos County Administrator issued an evacuation order for the city of Los Alamos. The Cities of Gold hotel in Pojoaque is offering shelter services for evacuating residents of Los Alamos. Los Alamos evacuees are advised against sheltering in White Rock, although White Rock is not at risk.
White Rock is currently under a voluntary evacuation. Many residents remain in White Rock following voluntary evacuations which began Sunday.
The Bureau of Land Management's Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument will close to the public beginning on Wednesday June 29. The monument isn't currently threatened, but the road to the monument will be used by firefighters to access the southern flank of the fire.
Meanwhile, the Bandelier National Monument will be closed indefinitely.