Friday round-up

Las Conchas wildfire map through June 30

I spent much of my week following New Mexico’s Las Conchas wildfire, which caused the city of Los Alamos to evacuate and the adjacent Los Alamos National Laboratory to close. As of this morning, the fire is the largest known in New Mexico history, with more than 103,000 acres burned in a mere five days. Los Alamos and LANL generally appear to be out of danger at this point, but tribal lands to the north are sustaining heavy damage.

New Mexico is also battling two other significant fires: Donaldson, which has burned 73,000 acres since it started on Tuesday, and Pacheco, which has burned 10,000 acres over the last two weeks. Officials are clearly worried that other fires will be sparked by fireworks over the Fourth of July weekend. Governor Susana Martinez says that she does not have the authority to completely ban fireworks state-wide, but she ordered (pdf) state police to increase staffing to help enforce a state ban on fireworks in wildlands as well as any local restrictions. Walmart and grocery store chains Albertson’s and Smith’s have all pulled fireworks from store shelves in the state; Walmart and Albertson’s also evicted vendors from their parking lots.

Which brings me to say: If you plan to use fireworks this weekend, please be careful and don’t hurt yourself, your family, or your community. Perhaps consider watching a professional do it instead? (If you work with fireworks, OSHA has some information for you.)

Other chemical health and safety news from the past week:

Fires and explosions:

Leaks, spills, and other exposures:

Not covered: meth labs; ammonia leaks; incidents involving floor sealants, cleaning solutions, or pool chemicals; and fires from oil, natural gas, or other fuels

Map from InciWeb.

Author: Jyllian Kemsley

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1 Comment

  1. It’s possible the Notre Dame student was wearing safety glasses and not the much more effective splash goggles.