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Punxsutawney Phil Mysteriously Resurfaces Just In Time For New Mexico Summer Solstice At 10:24 P.M. Tonight!

on June 20, 2017 - 9:17pm

Punxsutawney Phil mysteriously resurfaces at an undisclosed location in Los Alamos just in time to enjoy New Mexico's summer solstice at 10:24 p.m. tonight. The elusive Phil was last spotted around town in February ... for details, click here. Courtesy photo

COMMUNITY News:

WHEN IS THE SUMMER SOLSTICE 2017?

The summer solstice falls on Wednesday, June 21, 12:24 A.M. EDT. For time zones further west, the solstice falls on Tuesday, June 20 as follows.

  • Tuesday, June 20, 11:24 P.M. CDT
  • Tuesday, June 20, 10:24 P.M. MDT (Los Alamos time zone)
  • Tuesday, June 20, 9:24 P.M. PDT

WHAT IS THE SUMMER

Pajarito Celebrates Solstice With 100 Days Of Summer

on June 20, 2017 - 4:20pm

Pajarito bike trail. Photo by Stacey Glaser/Pajarito Mountain

Blue skies today above Pajarito Mountain. Photo by Stacey Glaser/Pajarito Mountain

A wildflower grows on Pajarito Mountain. Photo by Stacey Glaser/Pajarito Mountain

PAJARITO News:

There are blue skies today at Pajarito Mountain in Los Alamos. Pajarito is celebrating the Summer Solstice with the 100 Days of Summer Celebration.

The weather is looking great for this fun event!

Enjoy lift-served mountain biking and hiking 4-7 p.m., and a New Mexico-inspired menu is available 4-7 p.m. at the Pajarito Mountain Café.

SFNF Issues Closure Order For Cajete Fire Burn Area

on June 20, 2017 - 3:30pm

Closure burn area map. Courtesy/nmfireinfonews.com

SFNF News:

SANTA FE – The Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) today issued a closure order for the approximately 1,400 acres on the Jemez Ranger District burned by the Cajete Fire.

The restricted area includes: all lands, roads and trails within the fire perimeter (depicted on the closure map), Trail #137 between the last bridge coming from the Las Conchas Trailhead (before the trail ascends) and the East Fork Trailhead, and segments of Forest Road (FR) 270 south of the fire and FR 4G, 4GA and 4GB on the northwestern point of the burned area.

Heinrich Provides Online Resources To Help New Mexicans Prepare For Wildfire Season

on June 20, 2017 - 3:07pm
U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich
 
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  With wildfire season underway, U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) is helping New Mexicans prepare and stay safe with the Wildfire Preparedness & Prevention Resource Center that provides information on how to protect communities from the devastating effects of wildfires.
 
The online resource center includes active wildfire information, prevention and safety tips, resources for businesses, and more.
 
Heinrich also released a 30-second public service announcement (PSA) to help spread the word about how to stay safe

Cajete Fire Morning Update: 416 Personnel ... 1,412 Acres Burned, 87 Percent Contained

on June 20, 2017 - 10:07am
A burning log Monday night in the Cajete Fire lights up unburned mixed conifer in the Jemez. Scattered small ground fires are still burning, and there are aircraft supporting final containment efforts. © 2017 David A. Ponton/wildearthlight.com
 
Small ground fires light up the lower level of unburned ponderosa pine forest in the Cajete Fire under Monday's starry night sky in the Jemez. © 2017 David A. Ponton, wildearthlight.com

SFNF News:

Crews on the fireline fighting the Cajete Fire in the Jemez today anticipate minimal fire activity.

The uncontained section of the fire perimeter is within a

Klotz Responds To Center For Public Integrity's Series On Safety Culture At NNSA Sites

on June 20, 2017 - 9:00am

NNSA Administrator Frank Klotz

NNSA News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Safety is paramount at the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). We have uncompromising standards for our plants and laboratories to perform work in a safe and secure manner that protects our employees, our facilities, and the public.

An article published Sunday by the Center for Public Integrity (CPI), the first in a planned series on safety at NNSA sites, attacks the safety culture at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) without offering all of the facts and the full context. 

In 2013, LANL, in consultation with

PEEC: Upcoming CaveSim Adventure! June 24

on June 20, 2017 - 6:51am
Try your hand at caving at the Los Alamos Nature Center. Courtesy photo
 
PEEC News:
 
Ready to test your spelunking skills? Delve into a simulated world of caves 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, June 24 at the Los Alamos Nature Center.
 
This is the perfect opportunity to crawl through 60-foot tunnels, observe vertical rope climbing demos, and practice rescue missions. The electronic simulator will track your movements so you can learn what it takes to access some of the most remote places on Earth.

Heinrich: Congress Must Take Energy Innovation Seriously

on June 20, 2017 - 6:49am
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Joint Economic Committee Democrats today released a report on the barriers to clean energy innovation that are preventing the U.S. economy from fully capitalizing on clean energy’s economic potential.
 
Instead of prioritizing energy innovation to position the United States as the global leader, Congressional Republicans often cite federal funding in climate change as government waste, and President Trump’s budget proposes deep cuts to energy innovation programs at the Department of Energy.
 

Final Evening Update On Cajete Fire: Size: 1,412 Acres ... Containment: 85 Percent

on June 19, 2017 - 10:00pm

SFNF News:

Note: This is the last evening update. Future updates will be sent out once a day.

Today crews on the fireline observed minimal fire activity. Heavy dead and down timber continues to burn in the interior of fire. The uncontained section of the fire perimeter is within a snag patch (a section of standing dead trees) in the southeastern corner of the fire near Los Griegos Peak. The standing dead trees in this area, left by the 2011 Las Conchas fire, can fall suddenly, making this area too dangerous for firefighters to enter.

Pajarito Astronomers Hold Dark Night June 24

on June 19, 2017 - 3:32pm
PAJARITO ASTRONOMERS News:
 
The Pajarito Astronomers is holding a County sponsored Dark Night at 8:30 p.m. (sunset), Saturday, June 24, at Spirio Soccer Field, Overlook Park in White Rock.
 
Weather permitting, the public is invited to come out, wander among the telescopes, and star gaze. Jupiter and its moons and Saturn with its rings and moons should be visible during the evening. There will be a tour of the summer constellations, and there will be telescope views of double stars, star clusters, nebulae and galaxies.
 
The public is invited and encouraged to attend.

Cajete Fire Update: Containment Holding At 80 Percent

on June 19, 2017 - 10:54am

Scene from the Cajete Fire burning in the Jemez. Photo by David Ponton/wildearthlight.com

Scene from the Cajete Fire burning in the Jemez. Photo by David Ponton/wildearthlight.com

SFNF News:

Crews on the fireline Sunday night observed minimal fire activity. Heavy dead and down timber continues to burn in the interior of fire. 

Scene from the Cajete Fire burning in the Jemez. Photo by David Ponton/wildearthlight.com

The uncontained section of the fire perimeter is within a snag patch (a section of standing dead trees) in the southeastern corner of the fire near Los Griegos Peak. 

The

Regional Coalition Discusses LANL's Small Business Program Support And Waste Classifications Overview

on June 19, 2017 - 7:21am
RCLC News:
 
SANTA FE  The Regional Coalition of LANL Communities (RCLC) hosted its regular Board Meeting June 9 in the Española Council Chambers.
 
The meeting focused its discussion on the efforts of the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Small Business Program Office and how it supports local contractors to do business with LANL and other federal programs.

Abandoned Campfire Sparked El Cajete Fire

on June 17, 2017 - 10:14pm

An abandoned campfire sparked the El Cajete Fire Thursday in the Jemez. Photo by Jason Wardlow Herrera 

SFNF News:

Fire investigators have determined that it was an abandoned campfire that sparked the El Cajete Fire, which has consumed more than 1,300 acres since erupting Thursday in the Jemez.

The El Cajete Fire started approximately one mile northeast of Vallecitos de los Indios. The fire area runs along the East Fork of the Jemez River and is to the west of the burn scars from the 2011 Las Conchas Fire and the 2013 Thompson Ridge Fire.

State Secures Federal Funds To Fight El Cajete Fire

on June 17, 2017 - 4:15pm

Gov. Susana Martinez

SANTA FE — Today, Gov. Susana Martinez announced that New Mexico has secured federal funding to help fight the Cajete Fire.

New Mexico’s request for a Fire Management Assistance Grant has been approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Funds through the grant will help cover costs of emergency protective measures and firefighting activities.

“Our coordinated response, through state agencies and our local partners, is working hand in hand with the Forest Service to fight the fire and protect the lives and property of New Mexicans,” Martinez said.

Update: 300 Personnel Working On El Cajete Fire

on June 17, 2017 - 3:19pm

El Cajete Fire boundary map. Courtesy/SFNF

SFNF News:

The latest news on the El Cajete Fire is that more than 300 personnel are working on it. Also, there will be a community meeting on the El Cajete Fire at 6 p.m. today at the Jemez Mountain Baptist Church, 6 Riverview Court, La Cueva.

The fire is burning in the Jemez Ranger District on the Santa Fe National Forest, on both sides of N.M. 4 along the southern boundary of the Valles Caldera National Preserve. The Cajete Fire started approximately one mile northeast of Vallecitos de los Indios.

The fire area runs along the East Fork of

Hotshots Practice Near Bandelier

on June 17, 2017 - 2:56pm
Hotshots getting in some practice Friday evening near Bandelier. Photo by Greg Belyeu

El Cajete Fire From N.M. 285 Friday Night

on June 17, 2017 - 11:26am

View of the El Cajete Fire last night from N.M. 285. Photo by Greg Noeninckx

Morning Update: El Cajete Fire Grows To 1,315 Acres

on June 17, 2017 - 9:39am

Smoke rises in the sky from the Cajete Fire, which has burned more than 1,000 acres since igniting Thursday morning in the Jemez. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

EMNRD-FORESTRY News:

This morning's update just came in on the Cajete Fire burning in the Jemez west of Los Alamos:

  • Start Date and Time: June 15 at 10:45 a.m.
  • Start Location: North of Jemez Springs, El Cajete Mine , MM 33 in the Sierra de los Pinos area
  • Cause of Fire: Unknown
  • Area Vegetation: Grass and ponderosa pine
  • Acres Burned: 1,315
  • Ownership: US Forest Service
  • Structures Threatened: Yes
  • Structures Burned: 0

Evacuations:

Jemez Ranger District Implements Stage 1 Restrictions

on June 17, 2017 - 9:38am

SFNF News:

SANTA FE – As crews continue to battle the Cajete Fire along N.M. 4 in the Jemez Mountains, the Santa Fe National Forest has now implemented Stage 1 fire restrictions on the southwestern side of the forest.

The Stage 1 restrictions cover the entire Jemez Ranger District and the southwestern corner of the Cuba Ranger District south of the Ranchos del Chaparral Girl Scout Camp.

The decision to impose restrictions was initially based on a rash of abandoned and unattended campfires combined with hot, dry conditions and the number of visitors expected over Father’s Day weekend.

DOE Releases Full Text Of EM’s FY18 Budget Request

on June 17, 2017 - 9:12am
DOE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  DOE released Wednesday the full text of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Congressional Budget Request of $6.5 billion for EM. Access the document here
 
This marks EM’s largest budget request in a decade, and provides the resources necessary to continue making safe, steady and significant progress in tackling the environmental legacy of decades of nuclear weapons development and government-sponsored nuclear energy research. 
 
EM’s FY 2018 request provides the resources necessary to achieve progress on the facilities and capabilities necessary to tackle

Echo Amphitheatre Temporarily Closed Due To Fire

on June 17, 2017 - 7:59am

Echo amphitheater is a natural amphitheatre about 17 miles west of Abiquiú and 4 miles up the road from Ghost Ranch in Rio Arriba County. Courtesy photo

USFS News:

CANJILON—Fire officials responded Thursday night to a fire started in sagebrush within the Echo Amphitheatre parking area in the Carson National Forest near Abiquiu.

The fire is human caused and has been fully contained with minimal heat remaining.

Public safety is the number one priority and the Echo Amphitheatre day use area and campground will be closed until further notice as fire managers continue to monitor the fire.

Los Alamos Faith And Science Forum June 22-23

on June 17, 2017 - 6:58am

Distinguished Professor John Haught from Georgetown University is coming to Los Alamos June 22-23 to help answer the question,‘Why is there something rather than nothing?’ Courtesy photo

LAFSF News:

“Why is there something rather than nothing?” This question is posed by two scientists in this month’s issue of Physics Today. This question also intrigues the members of the Los Alamos Faith and Science Forum (http://www.lafsf.org/) and they have invited noted theologian, Distinguished Professor John Haught from Georgetown University, to Los Alamos to help answer it.

Professor Haught will be

Udall, Heinrich Advance Legislation To Address Drought Challenges In New Mexico

on June 17, 2017 - 6:51am
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich introduced the New Mexico Drought Preparedness Act that would improve the efficiency and effectiveness of water management across the state.
 
The New Mexico Drought Preparedness Act is derived from policy recommendations generated by a variety of stakeholders from New Mexico including conservancy districts, farmers, ranchers, Tribes, municipalities, and others that collaborated to put together proposals to help New Mexico deal with future water supply challenges.
 
At the request of Senators Udall and

Tonight's Wildfire Update: Cajete Fire

on June 16, 2017 - 11:13pm

The Cajete Fire runs along the East Fork of the Jemez River. Courtesy/wildfiretoday.com

SFNF News:

Location: Jemez Ranger District on the Santa Fe National Forest, on both sides of N.M. 4 along the southern boundary of the Valles Caldera National Preserve. The Cajete Fire appears to have started approximately one mile northeast of Vallecitos de los Indios. The fire area runs along the East Fork of the Jemez River.

Start Date: June 15, 2017     

Cause: Under investigation    

Size: 700+ acres    

Containment: 0 percent

Vegetation: Mostly ponderosa pine with some mixed conifer and

County Update And Scenes From Cajete Fire

on June 16, 2017 - 7:00pm

The fire plume of the Cajete Fire in the Jemez. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com 

A large helicopter making water drops today, makes a turn and disappears into the cloud of smoke. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com

Fire Marshal Jeff Wetteland talks to Capt. Tracy Stidham and Danny Archuleta. The LAFD's presence at the Cajete Fire is to provide backup to the Forest Service, should it be needed, to fight structure fires if any occur and provide help with mop up. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com  

COUNTY News:

Los Alamos County has issued an update on the number of evacuated

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