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Taos Celebrates Smokey's 70th Birthday

on August 5, 2014 - 9:03am



Carson National Forest, Taos Bureau of Land Management and the Town of Taos are joining to host a birthday party 2:30-5 p.m. Saturday afternoon, Aug. 9 in honor of Smokey Bear’s 70th Birthday.

Smokey’s Birthday celebration will include a birthday cake, songs, games, a Smokey Bear poster exhibit and an opportunity for children to have their picture taken with Smokey.


LAFD Selects New Fire Marshal and Captain

on August 4, 2014 - 9:05pm

New Fire Marshal Jeff Wetteland

LAFD News:

Los Alamos County Fire Chief Troy Hughes announced this morning that two members of LAFD have been promoted, effective today.

Jeff Wetteland has been promoted to battalion chief, in charge of the Fire & Life Safety Division. Wetteland began his career with LAFD in July 2001 and was promoted to captain in April 2009. Chief Wetteland will serve as the County’s fire marshal.

New Fire Capt. Jeff Saiz

Jeff Saiz has been promoted to captain. He was hired in January 2006 and promoted to driver/engineer in February 2011. 

Hughes said both promotions


Fire Restrictions Relaxed Across Los Alamos County

on July 21, 2014 - 10:21am

LAFD News:

Los Alamos County Fire Department relaxed its Fire Restrictions in Los Alamos County Saturday.

This relaxation of fire restrictions is based upon:

  • Local weather improvement, including:

o    Seasonal Monsoon pattern with recent regular rainfall

o    Rising humidity values in the weather

  • Fuel condition improvements, including:

o    Reduction in Fire Danger Level, from Extreme to Moderate and Low for  several weeks

o    Reduction in Ignition Potential

o    Steady increase in the Dead Fuel Moistures to double-digit levels.

  • Daily fire occurrence situations, including:


FEMA Awards $56,858 Grant For Firefighting Equipment For Questa Volunteer Fire Department

on July 19, 2014 - 7:40am

FEMA News:

A fire training academy and 10 fire departments in New Mexico, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas have been awarded more than $1.54 million in preparedness grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The grant in New Mexico totals $56,858 and covers the cost of firefighting equipment for the Questa Volunteer Fire Department. The grants in Arkansas total $342,100 and pay for an all-terrain firefighting truck for the Etowah Fire Department and firefighting equipment for the Arkansas Fire Training Academy in Camden.

In Louisiana, the grants total $649,642 and cover

Heinrich Video Addresses Wildfire Funding Reform

on July 18, 2014 - 10:14am

Sen. Martin Heinrich


WASHINGTON, D.C. - During a U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing July 15, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., continued to push to reform federal wildfire policy by funding major wildfires the same way as other natural disasters, while freeing up funding to prevent future fires.

The committee considered the Administration's wildfire preparedness and forest service 2015 fiscal year budget proposal, which includes a plan based on a bill Heinrich is co-sponsoring, which would treat the largest fires -- roughly 1 percent of annual

Hydrant Testing Underway Through October

on July 16, 2014 - 11:53am

LAFD News:

The Los Alamos Fire Department (LAFD) will be testing fire hydrants throughout Los Alamos County through October. 

The purpose of hydrant testing is to ensure that they will provide an adequate water supply for fire suppression and to flush out sediments that have accumulated in the water distribution system over the past year. These tests are part of the regular hydrant maintenance program and are done in conjunction with the Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities (DPU). 

LAFD firefighters and vehicles will be visible throughout the community flowing water from the hydrants

Firefighters Consider Using Drones to Fight Wildfires

on July 9, 2014 - 9:09am

U.S. Air Force MQ-1 Predator UAV Drone. Courtesy/USAF

BLM News:

Federal wildland firefighting officials are exploring the deployment of drones to assist in surveillance and reconnaissance missions during a wildfire.

Drones sent to survey fire patterns during a wildfire could help keep firefighters out of risky situations by providing real-time information to officials on the ground. Few wildfire officials have used drones in the line of duty, and managers with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S.

Los Alamos Police Prevail Against Firefighters in July 4th Softball Game

on July 5, 2014 - 12:34pm

LAPD softball team members. Courtesy photo

LAFD and LAPD gather for a photo. Courtesy photo

Scene from Friday's softball game between LAPD and LAFD. Photo by Chris Clark/


Staff Report

Members of the Los Alamos Police Department and Los Alamos Fire Department squared off Friday morning at Overlook Park for their annual Fourth of July softball game.

There was no mistaken the intent of the police officers as they hammered in run after run, amassing a final score of 40-9. They were clearly out for redemption after their defeat in the “Battle of the Badges” basketball game

Helicopters Pass Above Los Alamos To Fight Diego Fire

on July 2, 2014 - 12:26pm

A helicopter was spotted flying above Los Alamos several times Tuesday that was heading to drop fire retardent on the Diego Fire near Coyote. Full suppression actions will continue today with crews taking advantage of higher humidity and more favorable weather conditions. Anchor points have been established and crews and dozers will continue to build line around the fire. Personnel continue to assess structures and remove fuel where necessary. Overall, the fire should be less active than previous days, according to the state's Incident Information System. Photo by Robert Beberniss



Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard Attends Diego Fire Community Meeting

on July 2, 2014 - 10:18am

Dist. 43 Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard speaks with constituents at Tuesday evening's Diego Fire community meeting in Coyote. Garcia Richard explained that the fire is between Coyote and Gallina and several families have ranch land that the fire has burned through or is threatening. The fire is approximately four miles northwest of the Valles Caldera National Preserve and the fire management team is hopeful that tonight's moisture will help get the blaze under control, Garcia Richard said. Courtesy photo


Acres: 3,635 Start Date: First reported June 25, lightning map

New Mexico One of Five States Receiving $1.7 Million in FEMA Fire Preparedness Grants

on July 2, 2014 - 8:30am

FEMA News:

Fire departments in five states, including New Mexico, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas have been awarded more than $1.69 million in preparedness grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

In New Mexico, the grant totals $84,093 and covers the cost of firefighting equipment and wellness and fitness equipment for the City of Alamogordo Fire Department.

A grant awarded in Arkansas totals $36,100 and pays for an air quality control device for a fire truck for the Gravel Ridge Fire Department.

Diego Fire Consumes More Than 3,400 Aces

on July 1, 2014 - 1:57pm

Smoke plume from the Diego Fire photographed from Los Alamos late Monday. Photo by Leland Lehman/


Crews worked overnight to tie in some roads on the eastern edge of the fire, creating buffer for interior pockets of fuel that could experience extreme fire behavior today.

Bulldozers are being used to create containment lines on the southern portion of the fire along Jarosa Canyon to Forest Road 93 and Guardia spring west of FR 103.

Safety is paramount on all divisions today.

Ash From Diego Fire Falling in Los Alamos

on June 30, 2014 - 7:22pm

This piece of burned debris fell 'like a sad snowflake' right in front of a Los Alamos resident in her backyard. Several residents have reported seeing falling ash as well. Photo by Emily Blumenthal

Additional Evacuations Ordered For Diego Fire Area

on June 30, 2014 - 7:05pm


Smoke from the Diego Fire seen from Los Alamos a short while ago. Photo by Leland Lehman/


The communities of Wetherall Estates and Dunlap Spring are being evacuated along with Jarosa. An evacuation shelter has been established at the Rural Events Center in Abiquiu, located near the junction of High Way 84 and State Road 554.

Fire crews are fighting the 1,000 plus acre Diego Fire, which is burning southeast of Coyote.

Diego Fire Update: Road Blocks on Forest Road 93/103, 103/116 and 115

on June 30, 2014 - 2:55pm

Photo by Danae Nielsen

Diego Fire Update:

Fire crews continue to fight the 1,000 plus acre Diego Fire, which is burning southeast of Coyote. Currently the Northern New Mexico Type III Incident Management Team is in command of the fire, but they will be transitioning to Nieto's Type II Incident Management Team this evening. 

Dry, hot and windy weather is causing extreme fire behavior and long range spotting, but at this time, no structures are threatened. Heavy fuels and bug-kill also are aiding in the extreme fire behavior.

Today Marks Anniversary of Granite Mountain Tragedy

on June 30, 2014 - 7:38am

Staff Report

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona, which killed 19 “hotshot” firefighters. This summer, the interagency wildland fire community will mark the one-year anniversary of the Yarnell Hill Fire accident and the 20-year anniversary of the South Canyon Fire accident of July 6, 1994.

Although these accidents were separated in time by 19 years, they are bound together by several tragic commonalities.

Los Alamos Skies Are Smokey From Diego Fire

on June 29, 2014 - 5:49pm
Smoke from the Diego Fire near Coyote seen this afternoon from North Mesa. Photo by Salvador Zapien/ladailypost
Los Alamos Daily Post
The smoke in the sky looking northwest from Los Alamos is coming from the Diego Fire thought to have been ignited by lightning June 15 off Forest Service Road 93 near Coyote.
Los Alamos County Deputy Fire Chief Justin Grider told the Los Alamos Daily Post that the fire has really ramped up today and some 200-300 acres have burned so far.
"They have air tankers and ground crews on it and have ordered a type 3 incident

LAFD Hosts Promotion and Retirement Ceremony

on June 28, 2014 - 11:24am

The Los Alamos Fire Department held a Promotion and Retirement Ceremony Thursday at Fire Station 3 in White Rock. Divisional Chief Richard Garcia retired and was honored at the event for his more than 20 years of dedicated service. He received a special escort as he left the station. Courtesy/LAFD

Los Alamos Fire Chief Troy Hughes expresses his appreciation to Divisional Chief Richard Garcia who retired after more than 20 years of dedicated service. Courtesy/LAFD 

Deputy Fire Chief Justin Grider at the podium and Chief Troy Hughes, right, during Thursday's Promotional Badge Ceremony at

Vehicle Impact Damages Rim Road Residence

on June 19, 2014 - 9:40pm

This home at 98 Rim Road in Los Alamos was damaged shortly before 5 p.m. today when a car crashed into it. The female driver of the car was not injured and no injuries were reported inside the home, which was unoccupied at the time. Los Alamos Police Department personnel and Los Alamos Fire Department crews had to evacuate the entire cul de de sac at the end of Rim Road because the vehicle ruptured a gas line connected to the house. Department of Public Utilities crews arrived at the scene and shut off the gas line. Residents were allowed back in their homes within a couple of hours. Police

Alert: Car Crashes Into Home Causing Evacuation of Cul De Sac on Rim Road

on June 19, 2014 - 6:12pm


Los Alamos Police Department personnel and Los Alamos Fire Department crews have evacuated a cul de de sac on Rim Road in Los Alamos after a car collided into a house shortly before 5 p.m. today at 98 Rim Road.

The collision was minor with little damage to the house, but the vehicle ruptured a gas line connected to the house and evacuation was necessary as a precautionary measure. Department of Public Utilities crews were dispatched to the scene of the accident shortly after the 911 call and are currently working to shut off the gas line.

The female driver of the car was not

Breaking News: Child Involved In Barranca Mesa Pool Accident Walks Into LAFD To Thank Firefighters

on June 17, 2014 - 4:23pm
Los Alamos Daily Post

More than a few Los Alamos firefighters and staff were reduced to tears at about 1 p.m. today when the 5-year-old boy involved in a swimming accident at Barranca Mesa Pool walked into Fire Administration and said, "thank you."

"It was very emotional to see him walk in with his mom and dad and little sister," Deputy Chief Just Grider told the Los Alamos Daily Post.

Alert: Effective Immediately, Los Alamos County Is Under Stage I Fire Restrictions

on June 13, 2014 - 9:00am


Effective immediately,  Los Alamos County is under Stage I Fire Restrictions.

The following acts are prohibited until further notice:

  • Building, maintaining, attending or using an open fire, campfire, charcoal or wood stove on all Los Alamos County lands. (See Exemption 1)
  • Smoking is prohibited except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least 3-feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.

Stage I Exemptions:

  • Developed campgrounds with metal grills using charcoal or propane are acceptable

Council Issues Proclamation Imposing Fireworks Restrictions

on June 10, 2014 - 10:30pm
Staff Report
Los Alamos County Council this evening issued a proclamation declaring extreme fire conditions exist in Los Alamos County and imposing restrictions on the use of fireworks: 
WHEREAS:      the weather in North Central New Mexico, including Los Alamos County, has been extremely dry, resulting in severe drought conditions in Los Alamos County; and
WHEREAS:      the National Weather Service publishes drought indices which indicate that drought conditions are likely to continue and deteriorate for the next 30 days, including Los Alamos County; and
WHEREAS:      heavy

Level 1 Fire Restrictions Begin at Santa Fe National Forest and Valles Caldera National Preserve June 12

on June 10, 2014 - 9:09am

SFNF News:

SANTA FE – Santa Fe National Forest and Valles Caldera National Preserve remain in very high fire danger, despite recent rains.

Grasses and other small fuels have dried out enough to carry fire; larger fuels, such as logs, are exceptionally dry and able to burn. The extended weather forecast calls for continued dry and windy conditions. All of these factors raise the potential for both human and lightning-caused fires.

To ensure public safety and to provide the highest degree of protection to forest resources, Level 1 Fire Restrictions will be implemented on all National Forest