Los Alamos Lab to Reopen As Wildfire Threat Recedes

Posted July 3rd, 2011 at 2:05 pm (UTC-5)
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A prominent U.S. nuclear laboratory is set to reopen this week, after firefighters beat back a raging wildfire that burned nearly 40,000 hectares of nearby land.

The Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory, in the southwestern state of New Mexico, said Sunday that it “appears to have escaped serious damage” from the fire.

A note to employees, posted on the lab's website, said managers will examine the lab grounds for safety issues Tuesday and that if all is well, the lab will reopen on Wednesday.

Authorities in the town of Los Alamos lifted an evacuation order Sunday, allowing more than 10,000 displaced residents to return to their homes.

Officials say the Las Conchas wildfire is still burning but no longer threatens the town or the lab.

Scattered rain showers Sunday helped firefighters who are battling the blaze but a local television station reported that it is still only 11 percent contained.

The blaze is considered the largest wildfire in New Mexico state history.