Fire mitigation efforts happen year-round at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Teams clear underbrush and create defensible zones long before fire season.
During the Cerro Pelado fire — 45,591 acres as of May 14, with more than 1,000 people working on it — Los Alamos is continuing to provide equipment and resources to remove fuels (such as trees and underbrush). Teams are performing mitigation work to reduce tree cover near utility corridors and key facilities.
The National Weather Service in Albuquerque called wildfire conditions a "dangerous, long duration and potentially historic critical fire event."
Laboratory Director Thom Mason said, "Conditions can change quickly; it has been very dry, very windy, and we have to be respectful of that risk and ready for what comes next."
Kelly Beierschmitt, deputy director for Operations, visited the fire line recently. "Just seeing the commitment of our employees was humbling," he said. "Everyone I met out there told me how much they appreciate the support, and what they were doing to keep each other safe."
The photos below depict many of the people who are working behind the scenes to protect the Laboratory and surrounding communities from the Cerro Pelado fire.
More photos, updates and information will be added regularly.