LOS ALAMOS, N.M. – EM and National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) leaders during a base camp visit last week thanked firefighters and were briefed on efforts to control a wildfire that has been burning in the vicinity of the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) site.
EM Los Alamos Field Office (EM-LA) Manager Michael Mikolanis and NNSA Los Alamos Field Office (NA-LA) Manager Ted Wyka toured the Great Basin Team 1 base camp in Jemez Springs, New Mexico on May 13.
More than 1,000 firefighters with Great Basin Team 1 have been working 24/7 to contain the Cerro Pelado fire in the Jemez Mountains, which began on April 22. Mikolanis and Wyka thanked crews for their critical work on the fire, attended the Team 1 morning briefing and met with members of the Great Basin Incident Management Team.
The Great Basin geographic area encompasses Utah, Nevada, an area south of Salmon River in Idaho, the western Wyoming mountains and a portion of Arizona north of the Colorado River. Great Basin Team 1 responds to wildfires and other incidents in the Great Basin region and nationwide.
With more favorable wind conditions over the past several days, helicopters and fixed-winged scooper planes are assisting ground crews by dropping water and fire retardant on spot fire, cooling hot spots and reinforcing containment lines for the Cerro Pelado fire. Hotshot and hand crews are monitoring containment lines and using opportunities for safe, direct engagement with the fire to extinguish areas of heat with water, while heavy-equipment crews continue to reduce fire fuels by thinning trees in dense areas and clearing excessive downed trees. As of May 17, the fire was 71% contained.
Since the start of the Cerro Pelado fire, close collaboration between the Great Basin Incident Management Team, Los Alamos County, LANL, NA-LA, EM-LA and EM-LA legacy cleanup contractor Newport News Nuclear BWXT-Los Alamos has ensured unified communications and updates on the Cerro Pelado fire to staff and residents in Los Alamos.
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