Las Conchas Wildfire, Tuesday PM Update

Jun 30, 2011

Los Alamos, NM – Thick smoke from the Las Conchas wildfire filled the empty streets of Los Alamos today. Most of the town's 12-thousand residents left during mandatory evacuations yesterday. That's turned attention to the safety of radioactive and hazardous materials stored at nearby Los Alamos National Laboratory. A one acre spot fire jumped a road onto lab property Monday, but was put out.

The director of LANL, Charles McMillan, says many people are asking if nuclear materials have been released into the air, telling reporters "there hasn't been any let me say that again, there hasn't been any."

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez says she's confident that the lab is being transparent about procedures for handling the threats from the Las Conchas fire. She says she will continue to demand fire information be made public and her office "will share with you whether the fire is on the property, whether there are materials at risk of getting burned or not .and whether or not the air quality is where it should be"

The air quality around Los Alamos is being monitored by the lab, the state Environment Department and the U-S Environmental Protection Agency.