Wildfire Threatens Los Alamos Nuclear Lab

'It's a very, very big concern'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 27, 2011 7:01 AM CDT
New Mexico Wildfire Threatens Los Alamos National Laboratory
A wildfire crests over the hills above Los Alamos National Labs Sunday June 26, 2011 in New Mexico.   (AP Photo/Luis S?nchez Saturno/The New Mexican)

It's not a good day to live near a nuclear facility: In New Mexico, a wildfire is edging dangerously close to the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where the world's first nuclear weapons were developed during WWII. "It's a very, very big concern, not only locally but nationally and globally," says a spokesperson for the Santa Fe National Forest. The fire is about one mile southwest of the lab, which has been forced to close.

"Lab emergency crews have been dispatched across the lab ... to protect key facilities and materials," says a spokesperson. "Protected areas include all hazardous and radioactive facilities." The fire has burned at least six square miles, and about 100 people in northern New Mexico have evacuated, MSNBC reports. In addition to the lab, it threatens other buildings, power lines, and natural gas lines. Click to read about the flood currently threatening another nuclear facility. (More nuclear weapons stories.)

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