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Wildfire Threatens Los Alamos Labs

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the batten-down-the-hatches dept.

Government 134

1sockchuck writes "A fast-moving wildfire has closed the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), a Department of Energy facility responsible for weapons design and a vast array of research, as well as two of the world's top supercomputers. Lab officials said all radioactive and hazardous material had been accounted for and protected."Adds an anonymous reader: "I live near LANL and apparently they have begun to evacuate the whole town. Here is some information I've received through an email chain: 'Our main concern is that the Las Conchas fire is about 3 1/2 miles from Area G, the dumpsite that has been in operation since the late 1950s/early 1960s. There are 20,000 to 30,000 55-gallons drums of plutonium contaminated waste (containing solvents, chemicals and toxic materials) sitting in fabric tents above ground. These drums are destined for WIPP. ... We understand that LANL has been working since late last night to build a fire line in Water Canyon, between the fire and Area G. ... Over the last 26 hours the fire has grown from 0 acres to about 45,000 acres – about the size of the Cerro Grande fire in 2000."

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The Black Hole (2, Interesting)

stokessd (89903) | more than 3 years ago | (#36591776)

Quick! Move all the old junk in "The Black Hole" to a safe location:

http://www.blackholesurplus.com/ [blackholesurplus.com]

Sheldon

Re:The Black Hole (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592142)

What an awesome store. Shit like this the only reason I can see for living in the US. So much awesome military surplus stuff. All we get here in Australia are sweaters, shirts and pants.

Re:The Black Hole (1)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592258)

I worked in Los Alamos a couple years ago and made it a point to get out to the black hole. I was *very* disappointed that they were sold out of Geiger counters, but I did manage to get a machete other small stuff on the cheap.

Re:The Black Hole (1)

Squiddie (1942230) | more than 3 years ago | (#36593836)

It's one upside, but like everywhere else, there are things that are just not that great.

Re:The Black Hole (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36592458)

Don't forget to request disco inferno [youtube.com] on radio stations and jukeboxes too! And stock up on fireworks for July 4th!

Re:The Black Hole (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36592526)

Burn baby burn! Burn baby burn! Burn baby burn! Burn baby burn!
Burnin'!

To mass fires, yes! One hundred stories high
People gettin' loose y’all gettin' down on the roof - Do you hear?
(the folks are flaming) Folks were screamin' - out of control
It was so entertainin' - when the boogie started to explode
I heard somebody say

Burn baby burn! - Disco inferno!
Burn baby burn! - Burn that mama down
Burn baby burn! - Disco inferno!
Burn baby burn! - Burn that mama down
Burnin'!

Satisfaction (uhu hu hu) came in the chain reaction
(burnin') I couldn't get enough, (till I had to self-destroy) so I had to
self destruct, (uhu hu hu)
The heat was on (burnin’), rising to the top, huh!
Everybody's goin' strong (uhu hu hu)
And that is when my spark got hot
I heard somebody say

Burn baby burn! - Disco inferno!
Burn baby burn! - Burn that mama down, yoh!
Burn baby burn! - Disco inferno!
Burn baby burn! - Burn that mama down
Burnin'!

Up above my head I hear music in the air - I hear music!
That makes me know there's (somebody) a party somewhere

Satisfaction came in a chain reaction - Do you hear?
I couldn't get enough, so I had to self destruct,
The heat was on, rising to the top
Everybody's goin' strong
That is when my spark got hot
I heard somebody say

Burn baby burn! - Disco inferno! (Aah yeah!)
Burn baby burn! - Burn that mama down
Burn baby burn! - Disco inferno, yeah!
Burn baby burn! - Burn that mama down
Burn baby burn! - Disco inferno! (Aah yeah!)
Burn baby burn! - Burn that mama down
Burn baby burn! - Disco inferno, yeah!
Burn baby burn! - Burn that mama down
Burnin’!

I just can't stop
When(till) my spark gets hot
Just can't stop
When my spark gets hot

Burning, burning, burning, burning...

Re:The Black Hole (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36593824)

brb, buying some stuff

Apparently (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36591792)

Apparently I'm the only one who wishes people would put city/states when describing specific places...

Re:Apparently (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36591824)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Alamos_National_Laboratory

GIYF

Re:Apparently (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592196)

GIFY.

There, FTYF (sic)...

Re:Apparently (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36592310)

Grazing-Incidence Fluorescence Yield? Gotcha.

Re:Apparently (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36591884)

You don't know where Los Alamos is?

So you don't know where the world's first atomic bomb was developed and built. You need to work on that. Or learn to Google.

Re:Apparently (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36591920)

From The Fine Article: "The lab is about 35 miles from Santa Fe." Santa Fe is also the capital of New Mexico. If you can't click a link or Google then I won't waste my time to suggest that you to step away from the keyboard pick read a book. It wouldn't have taken much more time than to click the AC box. Pussy.

...again (2)

mschaffer (97223) | more than 3 years ago | (#36591812)

It's not the first time, it won't be the last.

Re:...again (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36591870)

How long till someone blames all these fires and all these floods on climate? :/

Re:...again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36591960)

How long till someone blames all these fires and all these floods on climate? :/

As opposed to arsonists?

Re:...again (0)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592022)

That's what they do in California [latimes.com] .

Every year in Southern California, at the same time of the year, small groups of rogue firefighters light coordinated blazes across the land, usually around Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Bernardino. They do this because they want job security and they love the thrill of fighting large blazes. You hear all the sob stories about people losing their homes in the fires, but these are usually cabins and other second/vacation homes for well-off people who were most certainly insured. They cry all the way to the bank.

The official explanation for the cause of the fires is usually, "it's summer, the sun's out and it gets hot." Once in awhile they get creative and blame it on some asshole tossing away a smoldering cigarette butt.

Firefighters, being a part of the protected neo-gestapo of first responders, can and do break the law to further their own aims.

Re:...again (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592222)

Nice troll. Bit obvious though...

Re:...again (2)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592396)

well, actually, there's many many documented cases of firefighters starting fires.

and just as many if not more cases of cigarette butts starting fires - it's no coincidence that so many grass fires start right next to roads. some people are just so callous they should be locked away and the key carelessly forgotten about.

Re:...again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36592380)

How long till someone blames all these fires and all these floods on climate? :/

Certainly not before some fundamentalist wacko blames it on the end of the world.

Re:...again (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 3 years ago | (#36593392)

No, this fundamentalist wacko is going to blame it on careless smokers.

Re:...again (2)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592008)

"There's been a fire."

-- Michael Crichton, Andromeda Strain

atoms (1, Flamebait)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#36591878)

more scary atoms news?

would this seriously have made the front page on /. prior to the Japanese Tsunami?

Re:atoms (2)

wmbetts (1306001) | more than 3 years ago | (#36591898)

Yeah, if there's a real risk the the Los Almamos Lab then it should be here.

Re:atoms (3, Insightful)

carlzum (832868) | more than 3 years ago | (#36591970)

Los Alamos, plutonium, and mass evacuation always make for a nerd-worthy story.

More info (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36591888)

There is a fire very close to Los Alamos National Laboratory. They have begun to evacuate the whole town. Here is some info from someone on the ground: Our main concern is that the Las Conchas fire is about 3 1/2 miles from Area G, the dumpsite that has been in operation since the late 1950s/early 1960s. There are 20,000 to 30,000 55-gallons drums of plutonium contaminated waste (containing solvents, chemicals and toxic materials) sitting in fabric tents above ground. These drums are destined for WIPP. We understand that LANL has been working since late last night to build a fire line in Water Canyon, between the fire and Area G. Over the last 26 hours the fire has grown from 0 acres to about 45,000 acres – about the size of the Cerro Grande fire in 2000.

Re:More info (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592414)

so would you consider Yucca Mountain a good or bad idea?

Re:More info (1)

atriusofbricia (686672) | more than 3 years ago | (#36593122)

so would you consider Yucca Mountain a good or bad idea?

Hush you. Don't you know that anything that helps the nuclear industry in any way, shape or form is automatically Evil(trademark, patent pending)? :)

Re:More info (0)

cynyr (703126) | more than 3 years ago | (#36595094)

yes, Good as it presents a single place to monitor/guard(if you think it really needs it), bad because of the distance some of the waste will have to travel out in the open on public roads, where it could spill out on an interstate highway.

Really what is the issue with storing it on site in 300 ton casks? It's not really going anywhere, and anyone with the ability to steal it is likely well funded enough that they could get it anyways.

Re:More info (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#36593004)

Over the last 26 hours the fire has grown from 0 acres to about 45,000 acres

At this rate, the entire US will be on fire in about 145 years [xkcd.com] .

Gaia (0, Redundant)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#36591916)

It's as if Mother Gaia is giving us arrogant humans a lesson about overreaching our abilities. :) Maybe we need to dismantle all nuclear power, and just learn to live with less electricity in general. Think about the first word: reduce, reuse, recycle. Make no mistake: continue abusing the planet and the planet will strike back. Hard.

Re:Gaia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36591946)

Or maybe we need to apply better engineering forethought to our nuclear reactor designs so that we can increase our power consumption and lead more convenient lives instead. Make no mistake: 90% of all cavemen regret having reduced their consumption of earthly resources.

Gaia WTF?! (0, Flamebait)

Chicken_Kickers (1062164) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592018)

What the frack are you fracking about? What is this "Mother Gaia" hippy bovine excrement? Anyone who thinks "Mother Gaia" is a loveey-dovey God only needs to spend a week or two alone and without supplies in a tropical rainforest or in the middle of the desert. Nature favors only the strong. The weak get eaten, starved or pushed out, never to pass their genes. Humanity is here today because we harness and exploit nature. What is this about the planet "striking back"? The planet had tried to kill us and all life many times over, even before the industrial revolution. Stop antrophomorphing the planet and stop reading hippy bullshit.

Re:Gaia WTF?! (0)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#36595898)

This post is not Flamebait, it's Informative. We need to become more eco-friendly, yes, but the GP has apparently learned about nature from a Disney cartoon. Nature is not fish jumping onto your hook and you eating fruit off of trees in some Garden of Eden arrangement. Nature is you trying to keep horrifying parasites from infesting your digestive system and flesh while hunting creatures and gathering food, all while trying to avoid much more able predators who will slaughter the shit out of you.

Also while the planet won't "take care of us" neither will it "strike back." It just doesn't give a fuck. If we pump fossil carbon into the atmosphere and make things miserable for ourselves? Nature doesn't care. Some creatures will adapt and live on and some will die. Nature wouldn't care if they all died though. It's happened before due to natural events. Nature didn't hate those ancient creatures, because it can't, it's just a large collection of animals and inanimate objects.

Re:Gaia (0)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592096)

Make no mistake: continue abusing the planet and the planet will strike back. Hard.

Do you anthropomorphize everything, or just the Earth? Even with global warming and all of it's worst predicted effects, my life expectancy and quality of life are likely to be better than those of my Gaia-worshiping Greek analogue, who was probably a subsistence farmer.

Re:Gaia (0)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592570)

Are you so unschooled that you do not understand that Personification [uky.edu] is a fine rhetorical device and has been in use for thousands of years? Even by those who do not worship Gaia?
The point being that you can only push the ecosystem so far before its degradation starts having an adverse effect on you. But then, I'm sure that you are intelligent enough to understand this. Because, otherwise, your opening salvo would be an ad hominem attack on the OP, attempting to paint him as irrational, something that I do not believe you have evidence for.

I understand that you believe that your currently impressive quality of life depends, in many ways, on continued assaults upon the Earth's ecosystem and that halting the same might impact your economic status or the quality of life that you now enjoy. However, I believe that you overestimate the impact that reducing mankind's wastefulness would have and, as such, attempt to rationalize the harm you and the other inhabitants of this world cause by using a false comparison with someone who does not have the technology you enjoy - including technology that could be harnessed to clean the world's ecosystems rather than to assault them.

Re:Gaia (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 3 years ago | (#36593442)

The point being that you can only push the ecosystem so far before its degradation starts having an adverse effect on you.

Yeah, but that's just plain old "we're using up all of our resources", not some act of a vindictive earth-deity. You can make it seem more profound by using symbolism and any other literary device, but it's pretty straightforward.

I understand that you believe that your currently impressive quality of life depends, in many ways, on continued assaults upon the Earth's ecosystem

Again, words like "assault"... you can say you are being literary again, but that word has meaning and immediately polarizes the discussion. We are part of the ecosystem. We can change it but we can't "assault" it. Even if we somehow wiped all multi-celled life off of the surface of the planet, the earth would continue to spin around the sun for a few billion years before the sun finishes off whatever's left.

Your points are perfectly valid - there aren't enough resources for us all to live a Western lifestyle forever given the current level of resources and technology. Reducing resource consumption is certainly likely to be a big part of our lives going forward. We also need to be more careful with our environment - but this has been known and acted upon for at least 40 years in Western countries. If you are trying to convince people that we need to do more, you might find more neutral language more effective. You start in with "assault" and "mother earth" talk and you'll get a positive response from people who are already converted, but a defensive reaction from the rest. Nuclear energy may well need to be scaled back, but not because it hurts the Earth God's feelings.

Re:Gaia (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 3 years ago | (#36595092)

By the way, if you still think he's being rhetorical, read his other comment in this thread [slashdot.org] .

Re:Gaia (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36592114)

"Mother Gaia?" Are you fucking mentally ill? If you think the volcanically-active rock that we live on is friendly and benevolent I suggest that you park yourself in the middle of the Sahara desert without so much as a bottle of sunscreen and see how long it takes for your brain to boil in your skull. The planet has living things -on- it. It is not a living thing -itself-. There's a very clear line between reality and new-age nonsense here and you're not only crossing it, you're tripping over it and falling face first into a pile of your own bullshit.

Though judging by your trite, flower-child nonsense, you probably haven't had a coherent thought since the late 60's.

Re:Gaia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36592166)

You already made that exact same post logged in as "Chicken_Kickers" above. Same insults, same analogies, same arguments, everything.

Maybe get a hobby?

Re:Gaia (3, Funny)

steeviant (677315) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592194)

It's as if Mother Gaia is giving us arrogant humans a lesson about overreaching our abilities. :) Maybe we need to dismantle all nuclear power, and just learn to live with less electricity in general. Think about the first word: reduce, reuse, recycle. Make no mistake: continue abusing the planet and the planet will strike back. Hard.

Someone's been getting stoned and watching Captain Planet again...

Re:Gaia (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592554)

Was I the only one rooting for the polluters on that show? I think it was the whiny little "heart" punk that did it for me, every week I just hoped one of the bad guys would bury that little twerp in toxic waste or plutonium or something.

as for TFA, what's the odds this waste can blow up? I'm not talking nuclear China syndrome kinda blow up, but I'm betting plenty of those chemicals are also flammable. Radioactive smoke and chemical fires don't sound too good. So anybody know if what they stored there is at risk of going boom?

Re:Gaia (1)

steeviant (677315) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592702)

Was I the only one rooting for the polluters on that show? I think it was the whiny little "heart" punk that did it for me, every week I just hoped one of the bad guys would bury that little twerp in toxic waste or plutonium or something.

I was pretty annoyed by the way that faceless evil corporations are polluting the world while everyone else is trying to clean it up, when the reality is that the pollution exists because of the rampant consumerism that people love so much (myself included).

"It's not me, it's the other end of the supply chain"

as for TFA, what's the odds this waste can blow up? I'm not talking nuclear China syndrome kinda blow up, but I'm betting plenty of those chemicals are also flammable. Radioactive smoke and chemical fires don't sound too good. So anybody know if what they stored there is at risk of going boom?

It doesn't have to go boom to be really, really bad. Just poof!

Inhaled plutonium has a habit of causing lung cancers, plutonium laced ash settling on food crops or preparation surfaces can cause gut cancers, and then there's plutonium's nasty habit of accumulating in bone marrow, so if there is anything containing plutonium that can burn or boil it could cause some pretty toxic fallout.

We can take comfort in the fact that the waste in question is being stored outside, above ground, in tents; which suggests that it's probably not very likely that any highly radioactive waste is at risk -tents not being renowned for their security or radiological enclosure qualities.

Re:Gaia (1)

atriusofbricia (686672) | more than 3 years ago | (#36593108)

I was pretty annoyed by the way that faceless evil corporations are polluting the world while everyone else is trying to clean it up, when the reality is that the pollution exists because of the rampant consumerism that people love so much (myself included).

"It's not me, it's the other end of the supply chain"

Don't forget also that they weren't just polluting while everyone else was trying to clean it up, they were polluting almost purely because they were evil. They weren't producing pollution as a byproduct. It was their product and they were just looking for the most evil way to dump it. I'm half surprised they didn't have the evil corporations fill puppies with the pollution and then stuff them down dolphin throats while kicking kittens.

Re:Gaia (0)

cynyr (703126) | more than 3 years ago | (#36595122)

with enough energy polution becomes a non problem as we will just directly make the energy into stuff without waste. get to work on that cold fusion reactor.

Re:Gaia (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592280)

Right, because clearly -everything- was better in the pre-industrial, pre-scientific age. I mean, who -doesn't- want to die from easily treatable infections, live their lives in darkness and generally live like we did in the 1700s.

Go ahead and live your life worshiping the earth, no one is stopping you. For the rest of us, it makes a lot more sense to continue to increase our standard of living.

I can guarantee you that all the natural disasters that happened this year put together has a much smaller death toll than what the death toll would be from life in the pre-industrial, pre-scientific age.

Re:Gaia (1, Flamebait)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592600)

I mean, who -doesn't- want to die from easily treatable infections, live their lives in darkness and generally live like we did in the 1700s.

Wow! Way to use a false dichotomy! Nice bit of black and white thinking! I am impressed with your stunning rhetorical skills and wish to subscribe to your newsletter! How about putting 2% of our resources towards cleaning things up? I'm pretty sure that this would not cause us to "live like we did in the 1700s". After that, we're just arguing about the percentage - which is probably why you don't want to have the discussion.

Re:Gaia (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#36593094)

Has it ever occurred to you that that's how Gaia keeps her human population at sustainable levels? Remove the limits to growth, and population explodes. The planet is for every living being, not just humans. Technology just makes a bad problem worse. We need fewer humans and less electricity. It's a tough problem. Maybe we could put sterilization pills in children's vaccinations, or something. That way, they have to get the vaccine in order to go to school, and by the time they get to reproductive age it's already too late. Don't get the vaccinations, and you catch a children's communicable disease and die without reproducing. Gaia can be a harsh mistress if you abuse her.

Re:Gaia (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36593886)

You're just a person that hates humans. Start with yourself, please.

Jews (-1, Troll)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 3 years ago | (#36594418)

Just kill the jews and gypsies and everything will be fine. Also, eat less meat.

Adolf [hipsterhitler.com]

Re:Gaia (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592388)

Yeah, we should go back to basics. We don't need all the power-using machinery to provide our modern conveniences. Why look at the ancient Greeks! They lived a lot like we do today (*), without even inventing a practical steam engine, and not for lack of knowledge, either. They just didn't need to, what with all the slaves and all..

*as long as you weren't a slave. And owned land. And slaves....

Re:Gaia (0)

cynyr (703126) | more than 3 years ago | (#36595138)

so? all they did was use some humans as machines. just skip the step where they eat food and you get a machine. hmm seems like the same thing to me.

Re:Gaia (1)

Roachie (2180772) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592494)

You would not want to live in a world where "Mother Gaia" is given priority over human needs. Most of your ancestors did not have a choice between scarcity or abundance- I imagine many of them did not live to your age. They were welcomed back to the bosom of "Mother Gaia".

Nature does not care about you or me. Your benefactors are our fellow wo/man. They are the ones that saw that you survived your birth, they are the ones who fill your belly every day. They are the ones who build that excellent shelters we live in, complete with hot or cold air, depending on your preference, clean water and 52' flat screen porn on demand.

"Mother Gaia" pffft! We all we got.

Re:Gaia (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592644)

You try it first and we'll watch how you go.

Re:Gaia (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 3 years ago | (#36593414)

It's as if Mother Gaia is giving us arrogant humans a lesson about overreaching our abilities.
Oh yeah? Well, your mother's so fat, her belt size is Equator!

Chaos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36591918)

Those guys came up with the idea [lanl.gov] ; now they get to deal with it first hand.

I Live in New Mexico (4, Informative)

DrJimbo (594231) | more than 3 years ago | (#36591944)

The fire danger has never been higher. Some places make it against the law to even smoke outside. Over the past month there have been days when we've been inundated with smoke from the wildfires in Arizona. It is hot, dry, and windy.

You would think that selling and setting off fireworks would also be illegal this year (it is usually allowed for a week before and after July 4th, but this hasn't stopped people from lauching fireworks whenever they want to) yet there are huge tents in the parking lots of all the grocery stores selling fireworks. The reason is that in New Mexico there is a state law that makes it illegal for communities to ban the sale and use of fireworks. Instead of working to fix this crazy law, the governor asked New Mexicans to "exercise caution and restraint when it comes to using fireworks."

Is this a great state or what?

Re:I Live in New Mexico (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36592038)

I too, live in New Mexico. Most people I've talked to don't realize how dry it is right now. It has been over 9 months since some parts of the state, like Silver City, have had rain. We are supposed to be in the rainy season right now, but instead we are in the worst drought since the dustbowl. I went camping last weekend and I saw 3 different fires all on my way back to town. It regularly snows ash, and sometimes the city is so covered in smoke it looks like thick fog. The air quality gets so low that you can't go outside. Normally that wouldn't be an issue, but around here, most people have swamp coolers, these devices that cool the outside air via evaporation and pump it inside. It's a really cheap way of cooling your house, but it doesn't filter the air well, so it doesn't really change anything. I regularly feel like I'm not getting enough oxygen. Its a really scary feeling..

Re:I Live in New Mexico (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592578)

I too, live in New Mexico. Most people I've talked to don't realize how dry it is right now. It has been over 9 months since some parts of the state, like Silver City, have had rain.

If New Mexico is anything like Los Angeles, fire season starts when there's not been any significant rain for 90 days. By this time, the brush must be like a tinderbox waiting for a spark. I hope you get some rain, RSN.

Re:I Live in New Mexico (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#36593034)

I regularly feel like I'm not getting enough oxygen. Its a really scary feeling.

Depending on your age and health condition, you might want to invest in a small oximeter and a bottle of medical O2. Better yet, go have a scheduled physical checkup like everyone else.

Re:I Live in New Mexico (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#36593058)

The air quality gets so low that you can't go outside

Is this the cause for which ...

Some places make it against the law to even smoke outside.

?

Re:I Live in New Mexico (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36593126)

No, it's because it may cause fires.

Re:I Live in New Mexico (1)

ThorGod (456163) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592266)

I've lived in Los Alamos (and many other parts of NM). I hope Los Alamos makes it through this okay, but it's looking worse and worse.

Re:I Live in New Mexico (1)

Ironchew (1069966) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592432)

Another NMer.

New Mexico, like much of the sun belt (especially Texas) needs water badly. We can only hope for the seasonal rains to kick in, but precipitation has been pretty crazy in the United States recently. If only there was a way to siphon water out of the Midwest flood plains...
As for fireworks, I can only hope that the people buying them are merely stocking up for a more opportune time. I certainly hope people think twice before burning our state down.

Re:I Live in New Mexico (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592450)

the governor asked New Mexicans to "exercise caution and restraint when it comes to using fireworks."

And just how many pot smokers do you think he has in prison?

Re:I Live in New Mexico (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36592756)

Uh. I think you mean 'She'.

Show some patriotism! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36592616)

Yeah, you might lose some small towns to fireworks, but they'll just evacuate everyone. Just think about the founding fathers who risked their lives so you could have fireworks and guns!

And you've not got a way cooler new state anthem [youtube.com] too!

Re:I Live in New Mexico (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#36593036)

Is this a great state or what?

6 times smaller than the neighbouring Texas.

Re:I Live in New Mexico (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36593296)

and a million times cooler

Re:I Live in New Mexico (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 3 years ago | (#36593490)

People who brag about Texas being so big should well consider that if Alaska were divided in two, Texas would be the THIRD biggest state.

Re:I Live in New Mexico (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#36594062)

People who brag about Texas being so big should well consider that if Alaska were divided in two, Texas would be the THIRD biggest state.

Which will make the comparison of the "greatness" of New Mexico even more unfavourable.

BTW, "bragging" about the size of Texas - far from my mind - I'm not even living in US.

Re:I Live in New Mexico (0)

Gryle (933382) | more than 3 years ago | (#36595430)

Yes, but Texas has more women, thus proving that size isn't everything.

Thanks, I'll be here all week

Re:I Live in New Mexico (0)

Happy Nuclear Death (911893) | more than 3 years ago | (#36595722)

I know, right? Pesky "freedom" and "personal responsibility." Can't have any of that!

There is just no way that the dumbed-down, "safe" fireworks allowed to be sold here are going to start a fire in the average neighborhood. And I guess you never thought about standing by with a fire extinguisher when you set some off (I do).

Seriously. Take your "there oughta be a law" attitude and move somewhere else. I don't need you as a neighbor.

It's going to be bad (3, Informative)

DesertJazz (656328) | more than 3 years ago | (#36591998)

I was up in the mountains about 7 miles away when it started... It's ridiculously dry right now, high winds, and high temps. All that's going to be possible is evacuating people. The bad thing is it's going in the opposite direction of the 2000 fire, so there's plenty of fuel. The Bandalier National park has had about half of it's area burned so far as of earlier today. Thoughts and prayers to all who are in its path.

Back in the good old days... (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592070)

Back before the damn hippies forced us to can Project Plowshare we would have just dusted off a couple of bits and pieces from the back room and showed that fire what a real man's 'controlled burn' looks like. Kids these days. A few trees catch fire and they run around panicking. In my day, 'threat' meant 50 MIRVed megatons return-addressed 'Ivan', not an overgrown burn pit.

Re:Back in the good old days... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36592308)

Back in my day, the guy who tried too hard to be funny was the first one who got shot.

Re:Back in the good old days... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#36593124)

Sorry mate, that's puny. You'd need about 1500 of those [theaustralian.com.au] to match what a bush fire can do.

Re:Back in the good old days... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36595182)

1500 Hiroshima bombs is about 20-30 megatons, so that brush fire is about comparable to the 50 megatons the OP posited.

More details (1)

cluening (6626) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592160)

The lab was closed today and will be again tomorrow, and the townsite started voluntary evacuations last night. It turned into a mandatory evacuation this afternoon.

Luckily, I have some friends to stay with in Santa Fe.

Nothing to worry about (1, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592174)

They set fires every once in a while to smoke out Chinese spies.

So what you're saying is... (1)

SheeEttin (899897) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592870)

So what you're saying is... These fires were set by some pyro to check for spies [tf2wiki.net] ?

Oh geee. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592198)

ANOTHER potential disaster threatening a facility with major nuclear equipment ? oh my.

Re:Oh geee. (1)

pz (113803) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592436)

ANOTHER potential disaster threatening a facility with major nuclear equipment ? oh my.

Show some respect. There's a town full of people around LANL whose lives are being threatened.

Re:Oh geee. (2)

Ltap (1572175) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592590)

The point he's trying to make is that the news media in general is trying to capitalize from the furor surrounding the Fukushima incident by focusing on any kind of incident involving nuclear material.

Re:Oh geee. (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592664)

And that isn't a valid concern?

There's probably a lot more radioactive material at LANL than Fukushima, with a lot less containment.

Re:Oh geee. (2, Informative)

Gertlex (722812) | more than 3 years ago | (#36593492)

Haha. No. (At point 2)

Fukushima has six reactor cores worth of nuclear material (25000 kg of Uranium per core - example is specifically the 1 GW Westinghouse AP1000 reactor), plus the spent fuel. The weapons program testing stuff has largely been moved to Nevada deserts, from what I've heard. It's not the good ole days of putting two hemispheres of HEU (on the order of several inches diameter) together and counting neutrons... there's minimal material of note in Los Alamos. (That's why we have the super computers that were mentioned.)

Yes, I work(ed?) at LANL.

(Point 1 has, IMO, been addressed by the Lab's press release... Not that the media cares.)

Re:Oh geee. (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 3 years ago | (#36593514)

Yeah, next they'll be running around screaming that the largest reactor in our solar system has caught fire.

Re:Oh geee. (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36595064)

Show some respect. There's a town full of people around LANL whose lives are being threatened.

Show some respect. People lived in the western states for ten thousand years and simply moved their seminomadic existence every time there was a fire. In California in particular they burned their homes down every year to touch off yearly brush fires that would clear the undergrowth and leave the forests standing. Living where those people live in the homes those people live in is fucking stupid and they deserve neither sympathy nor respect. (I'm in a rental right now in the same situation, but I signed the agreement, so I don't deserve them either. Maybe a little more than a homeowner.)

We put homes in places they don't belong and then cry when they are wiped out when we fail to manage fires correctly, i.e. by preventing them utterly. Then the flammable material stacks up and you get what we have today; a firestorm across multiple states. The people who buy and/or build these homes are THE PROBLEM.

Forget Los Alamos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36592250)

I'm worried about the fires disturbing all the giant ants. If they were that big back in the 50s how big are they now?

Bless our firefighters! (2)

wsxian (689313) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592254)

I live at San Ildefonso Pueblo. Los Alamos National Lab is within our aboriginal land rights/claims. We have "Sacred Areas" that abut Los Alamos. While our geographic aims may diverge, I can think of no other people I would like up at the "Hill" (we are at 5500 feet and Los Alamos is over 7000 feet) than the security forces at Los Alamos as well as the firefighters that have come from all over (including many Native Americans). May the Lord protect them and the fire abate. Excuse me, I must pack in case we need to evacuate....

Re:Bless our firefighters! (1)

jnik (1733) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592828)

Thank you...and thanks to your governments for opening the back road through Rendija again. I bailed to Albuquerque Sunday night; not much to do now but follow the news and hope I have a house when we go back.

Re:Bless our firefighters! (2)

Zty (690198) | more than 3 years ago | (#36593474)

I can't agree more. I've lived on the Hill for about a year. I've never seen anything like the fire coming over the Jemez mountains on Sunday night, and I hope I never do again. The people who rush in to help while the rest of us are getting out are heros. I hope and pray for their safety and success. God Speed to them all! wsxian: It's good to know we have good neighbors. I hope that in the end you don't need to use the bags you're packing.

does it worry anyone else (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592454)

That the "radioactive and hazardous material" had to be accounted for and protected? Shouldn't the statement have read that such materials, as always, were secure?

Re:does it worry anyone else (2)

ThorGod (456163) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592510)

No. Even if the material hasn't been moved in 50 years and inventory taken yesterday, they've still got to recheck everything before a fire 'blows through'.

It takes one slack-jawed yokel making the assumption "safe yesterday, safe today" for a serious disaster to turn worse, much worse.

Re:does it worry anyone else (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 3 years ago | (#36592568)

It's the same principle that you use in making sure a gun's unloaded when somebody hands it to you. Just because they just checked it doesn't mean that you don't check it yourself.

Re:does it worry anyone else (1, Offtopic)

Gryle (933382) | more than 3 years ago | (#36595598)

I don't work at Los Alamos, but I do work with sensitive government items, and it's bit more than that actually. Government accountability of sensitive* stuff like this isn't a one-and-done. Inventories of sensitive items are done at regular intervals to make sure that what we said was there last week is actually still here this week. If it ain't, we backtrack to find out where the heck it went off to and whose soul to obliterate for not keep track of their stuff.

*Stuff the US government doesn't want falling into the hands of anyone other than the US government

WWGFD ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36592988)

Should be no problem.

Simply

      1. find the scientist who is already wearing an HEV suit.

      2. arm him with a crowbar

All wll be fine.

House burned down (2)

matzahboy (1656011) | more than 3 years ago | (#36595592)

My friend's house burned down a few days ago because of this fire.
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