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Council Approves Cooperative Fire Services Agreement With NNSA

on September 27, 2013 - 1:24pm

Deputy County Administrator Steve Lynne, left, and Fire Chief Troy Hughes brief Council on a 10-year cooperative agreement between LAFD and NNSA for fire services to Los Alamos National Laboratory. Following the briefing, Council approved the agreement and voted 7-0 to authorize County Administrator Harry Burgess to sign acceptance of the 10-year financial assistance award from NNSA for a cooperative agreement to provide fire services for the protection of LANL and Los Alamos County with a County cost share not to exceed $59.3 million for the 10-year period. Photo by Carol A.

Council Proclaims Oct. 6-12 'Fire Prevention Week'

on September 27, 2013 - 12:36pm

Los Alamos Fire Marshal Brian Nickerson accepts a proclamation from Councilor Fran Berting on behalf of the Council marking Oct. 6-12 as 'Fire Prevention Week.' Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Los Alamos Fire Marshal Brian Nickerson at the podium as Councilor Fran Berting reads the proclamation. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Free Guided Trips to Southwest Jemez Mountains

on September 22, 2013 - 7:29am


SANTA FE – The Santa Fe National Forest will be hosting several free field trips for the public to learn about restoration efforts planned for the Southwest Jemez Mountains.

Oct. 11 and 12, three field trips will be scheduled each day. Choose from a full day or a half day trip. The group will travel to various locations in the forest and hear from the specialists who are engaged in managing this intricate and complex landscape.

Each day, there will be one all day trip and two half day trips.

Prescribed Burns Planned on Santa Fe National Forest

on September 21, 2013 - 10:12am

SFNF News:

The Santa Fe National Forest is planning a prescribed fire on the Coyote Ranger District within the next seven days.

The Mesa Camino burn may start as early as tomorrow (Sunday.) If conditions don’t allow that burn to be successful, they may burn in the Gallina area instead. Planned benefits from these burns: reduce hazardous fuels, break up continuous fuels, prepare the land for new growth, help plants and trees to grow healthier, improve wildlife habitat.

Smoke will be monitored and the Forest Service will comply with New Mexico air quality regulations.

Prescribed Burns Taking Place This Fall

on September 13, 2013 - 8:46am

USFS News:

Fall provides good prescribed burning conditions—warm days, cool nights and good ventilation for smoke. 

Fire managers on the Española Ranger District plan to use this time to treat 260 acres of hazardous fuels in the Borrego Mesa area, approximately two miles east of Cordova and three miles south of Truchas. They will look for suitable conditions beginning Sept. 8-Oct. 4 to conduct prescribed burning activities.

Prior to actual ignition, fire managers will be considering many factors including:  fuel moisture levels, weather forecasts current and projected, fire personnel


Memorial Services Set For Token Adams

on September 9, 2013 - 11:37am

SIMT News:

The Southwest Incident Management Team has announced a memorial service scheduled for fallen firefighter Token Adams. 

Captain Token Mark Adams, 41, passed away Friday, Sept. 6, 2013.

The service will take place at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 12 at Calvary of Albuquerque, 4001 Osuna Road NE in Albuquerque. Inurnment will follow at Vista Verde Memorial Park, 4310 Sara Road SE in Rio Rancho.

For further information about the service, visit

News Conference on Token Adams' Search/Recovery

on September 7, 2013 - 9:35am

Mountaineer Ranger District shared the following link to the news conference about Token Adams' Search/Recovery:

Experienced Volunteer Ground Personnel Invited to Join Search for Firefighter in Jemez

on September 1, 2013 - 11:47pm

NMSP News:

New Mexico State Police is heading up a Search and Rescue (SAR) effort in the Santa Fe Nat’l Forest near Jemez Springs to locate a firefighter, Token Adams, who went missing Friday while conducting size up for a new start in the forest. 

Volunteer SAR is proceeding, and experienced volunteer ground personnel are invited to join in this effort. 

Directions to the ICP are:

  • Head west on Rt. 4
  • Turn right onto 126
  • Turn left onto NF-376
  • Turn left onto NF-604
  • Turn right onto School House Mesa/604
  • Turn left onto Cebollita Springs NF-606 Look for a big clearing with emergency vehicles

Motorcycle Driver Arrested Sunday Following Crash on Diamond Drive

on August 19, 2013 - 1:39pm

David Rael of Los Alamos crashed his motorcycle early Sunday evening on Diamond Drive and was assisted by Los Alamos paramedics and police officers. Courtesy photo

Staff Report

David Rael of Los Alamos crashed his motorcycle at 5 p.m. Sunday on Diamond Drive.

Police arrested Rael, 35, and charged him with aggravated DWI, assault on a peace officer with a deadly weapon, resisting and evading an officer, concealing his identity, reckless driving, failure to give immediate notification of an accident, driving on a revoked license, driving with no registration and driving with no insurance.

Los Alamos Firefighters Train in Elevator Rescue

on August 8, 2013 - 9:52am
The special Los Alamos Fire Department High Angle Rescue Team trains every three months. Wednesday the firefighters received training in elevator rescue at the Municipal Building. Photo by Leland Lehman/
Firefighters prepare to repel down the elevator shaft. Photo by Leland Lehman/

Local Firefighters Train in High Angle Rescue

on August 6, 2013 - 9:30am

Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Staff Report

Firefighters with the Los Alamos Fire Department spent several hours Monday training with experts from a private Arizona company in advanced high angle rescue.

The training was conducted in White Rock Canyon. High angle rescue operations involve unique hazards and require special training and equipment to be able to perform them safely. Rope rescue operations are frequently defined in terms of the type and steepness of the terrain they are to be performed in.

The steeper the ground, the more

Firefighters Douse Blaze Near TA-54

on August 1, 2013 - 4:38pm

LAFD News:

Los Alamos Deputy Fire Chief Justin Grider has confirmed that a fire broke out a short time ago in the area near TA-54 at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

"We're checking on the cause, which may have been a squirrel because it broke out near the powerlines," Grider said. "The fire is completely out now."

Grider described the fire as burning an area about 5 feet wide by 60 feet long.

TA-54 was not affected.


Fire Restrictions Relaxed Across Los Alamos County Thursday

on July 31, 2013 - 2:04pm


Los Alamos County Fire Department will relax its Fire Restrictions in Los Alamos County effective 8 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 1.

This relaxation of fire restrictions is based upon:

  • Local weather improvement, including:
  • Seasonal Monsoon pattern with recent regular rainfall
  • 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 situation:


Los Alamos Elks Lodge Raises $838 for Arizona Firefighters' Families

on July 31, 2013 - 9:27am

The Los Alamos Elks Lodge #2083 recently hosted a Pay Day Café to raise money for the families of the 19 Arizona Granite Firefighters killed while fighting a wild land fire in Arizona. The Lodge raised $838 for the families from dinners served and donations. The dinner was hosted by Exalted Ruler Mark Sandoval who is a retired Los Alamos Fire Department Assistant Chief. From left, Samara and Parker Fellows and Leading Knight Bill Gregory. Courtesy photo

Single Car Rollover In Totavi Sends Person to LAMC

on July 28, 2013 - 10:17pm

Los Alamos Fire Department crews responded to a single car rollover at about 4 p.m. today heading eastbound at Totavi. One person was transported to Los Alamos Medical Center. Details of this traffic accident including the cause of the rollover are unknown at this time. Check back for more details as they become available. Photo by Leland Lehman/

Photo by Leland Lehman/

Photo by Leland Lehman/

Final Update: Thompson Ridge Fire 100 Percent Contained

on July 24, 2013 - 8:17am
Thompson Ridge Fire at its height. Courtesy/VCT
Thompson Ridge Fire:
  • Acres: 23,965
  • Start date: May 31, 2013
  • Cause: Downed powerline             
  • Location: Valles Caldera National Preserve
  • Containment: 100 percent              
  • Terrain: Steep, rugged                                                        
  • Control: 100 percent                        
  • Fuels: Mixed conifer and Ponderosa pine
Summary: Since fire officials declared containment Monday, July 1, there has been neither new fire growth nor significant smoke within the perimeter of the Thompson Ridge Fire.

Fifteen Plane Loads of Seeds Dropped on Burn Scar

on July 23, 2013 - 8:49am

The BAER team is dropping five types of grasses at specific burn scar locations. Courtesy photo

BAER News:

PECOS – Aerial rehabilitation operations continue over the Santa Fe National Forest as teams work to stabilize soils after the Tres Lagunas Fire.

The Tres Lagunas Post-Fire Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Team and contractors report a successful weekend of rehabilitation and soil stabilization treatments over the burn scar within the Santa Fe National Forest.

To promote forest regrowth, the BAER team is dropping five types of grasses from an aircraft at specific burn scar


Fire Restrictions Lifted Forest Wide

on July 19, 2013 - 8:17am

SFNF News:

SANTA FE—Over the past few weeks, constant monsoon moisture has decreased fire danger from extreme to low.

Effective at 8 a.m. today, current Stage I fire restrictions blanketing the Santa Fe National Forest will be lifted. Areas of the forest affected by the Tres Lagunas, Thompson Ridge and Jaroso fires will remain closed for public safety.

Forest visitors are encouraged to be fire safe. When building a campfire, be sure to keep safety in mind before, during, and after you've built it. For more information on outdoor safety tips, visit:


LAFD Wraps Up Granite Mountain Family Donations This Weekend

on July 17, 2013 - 9:32am


The Los Alamos Fire Department is wrapping up donation collections for the families of the 19 Granite Mountain Hot Shots who tragically lost their lives in the Yarnell Hill Wildfire in Prescott, Ariz. June 30.

These same firefighters defended Los Alamos and Los Alamos National Laboratory from the Las Conchas Fire of June 2011, and more recently from the threat of the Thompson Ridge Fire in the Jemez Mountains west of Los Alamos.

LAFD firefighters will host a table at the summer concert this Friday evening at Marimac Plaza where they will offer the opportunity for residents to sign


Emergency Stabilization Plan Approved for Thompson Ridge

on July 16, 2013 - 10:39am


VCNP News:

JEMEZ SPRINGS – The Thompson Ridge Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team has received final approval for its emergency stabilization request and recommendations involving burned areas affected by the Thompson Ridge Fire.

“Now that the plan is approved, we can move forward with the treatments suggested by the assessment team,” said John Barksdale, Thompson Ridge BAER implementation team leader. “Once we are staffed with specialists to oversee projects, we will begin implementing those treatments.”

Initial treatments could begin as early as next week.

Be Prepared for Flooding Due to Wildfires

on July 16, 2013 - 9:31am

BAER News:

The Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Assessment Team has provided the following information.

Jaroso Fire Facts: 11,149 acres; 25 percent contained. Monsoonal showers have decreased fire activity. No significant growth is projected. 

The rainy season is here. Areas downstream of recent wildfires are flooding. Be ready!

 Click here to check today’s Burn Scar Matrix

It is important that residents take steps to protect themselves and their property from flooding and mudflows. Residents living near or around a recently burned area need to:

  • Monitor local weather reports and

Flooding and Debris Threats Subject of Public Meeting

on July 16, 2013 - 8:56am

BAER News:

A public meeting to discuss potential flooding and debris flow threats from the Jaroso Burn Scar to Cundiyo and surrounding communities is 6 p.m. today, July 16, at the Cundiyo Community Center, 5 Jose Simons Dr., Cundiyo, 10.5 miles from the Pojoaque turnoff where 503 begins.

This meeting is sponsored by the Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Assessment Team.

For more information, contact Rob Arlowe, BAER team leader at (505) 331-3881.

Letter to the Editor: Bury Power Lines Through or Near Forests

on July 11, 2013 - 8:36am
By Jody Jones and Dan Cather
White Rock

This is in response to a column by Sherry Robinson that ran July 3, 2013 in the LA Monitor entitled, "Cut hundreds of trees or lose them to fire."

A third, and more effective option is never mentioned. Bury all power lines through or near the forests. This is a proven method of providing utility service, and its use in forests is long overdue. All the discussions about clearing vegetation, purchasing wider easements and interagency cooperation are fruitless.

Even with 150-foot easements, a downed power line can ignite weeds and fire can run

Thompson Ridge Burn Scar Experiences Monsoon Events

on July 10, 2013 - 8:07am

Sulfur Creek Burned Area. Courtesy/NPS

Thompson Ridge BAER Assessment Update:

JEMEZ SPRINGSFor the past few days, the Thompson Ridge burn scar has experienced some monsoon rain events.

The Forest Services Jemez Springs Ranger Station and the Valles Caldera National Preserve (VCNP) shared these recent observations:

  • Saturday afternoon, July 6, there was some minor sheet flow flooding along the VC02 road in the lower Redondo Canyon (near the west gate), but no flooding was reported in the upper Redondo watershed (Union building and up-canyon) area.
  • Monday afternoon, July 8, Sulphur Creek