Monday, June 27, 2011

The Governor on the Los Alamos Evacuation

Here's the news release from the Governor's Office, issued a little more than an hour ago.

With mandatory evacuations ordered for the city of Los Alamos, Governor Susana Martinez is urging residents in the communities surrounding the Las Conchas fire to heed the orders of emergency management officials in order to protect and save lives.

The evacuation will occur in three phases in 30-minute intervals. Group 1 will include Western, Quemazon, and Ponderosa; Group 2 will include North Community, Barranca Mesa, and North Mesa; Group 3 will include areas east of Diamond and the remainder of the town site. While White Rock is not being evacuated at this time, residents in Los Alamos should not go to White Rock to stay in case it is later evacuated. A shelter has been established at the Santa Claran Event Center at 464 North Riverside Drive in Espanola for evacuating residents.

“Local, State, and Federal personnel and assets are in place to coordinate the suppression of the fire and to protect lives, property, and critical infrastructure,” said Governor Martinez. “My administration continues to work closely with emergency management officials to facilitate the evacuation and ensure the safety of Los Alamos residents.”

Sunday evening, Governor Martinez directed the National Guard to assist in the event of evacuations. Ninety-nine National Guardsmen along with the New Mexico State Police are in place in Los Alamos to assist in the evacuations. Cochiti Mesa, Las Conchas, Bandelier National Monument, and campgrounds near the fire were evacuated yesterday. A shelter is available for these evacuees at La Cueva Fire Station.

Emergency and fire crews are monitoring the evolution of the fire and its threat to the Los Alamos National Laboratory. All hazardous and dangerous materials remain secure.

Due to winds and the large amounts of smoke resulting from the Las Conchas Fire, an air quality alert is in place. Poor air quality conditions associated with smoke are especially dangerous for people with underlying health conditions such as asthma, emphysema, and cardiovascular disease. If symptoms associated with these conditions do not respond to the usual recommended medications, see a health care provider immediately.

Evacuating residents should remember the “Five Ps” you need to have ready to go: People, important Papers, Prescriptions, family Pictures and Pets.

The Las Conchas Fire started on private land off of NM 4 at mile marker 35 and has grown to more than 43,000 acres with 0% containment.

Updates on the Los Conchas fire can be found at or Tune into 1610 AM for additional updates.

Follow the New Mexican's live blog of the fire HERE