Video: Radiation eyed at Los Alamos nuke plant

  1. Closed captioning of: Radiation eyed at Los Alamos nuke plant

    >>> near the los alamos nuclear reactor, the air is being monitored for radiation.

    >> five days after the fire broke out, it remains largely uncontained. firefighters do say the preventive burns set up around the perimeter do seem to be working. the battle against the raging wild fire is now being fought in the sky. helicopters dropped water on hot spots, the epa brought in a radiation detecting plane and air samples were checked for toxins that might have been released from the lab.

    >> there's no additional material in the sample from lab activities or waste management activities. to me, that's encouraging news.

    >> smoke billowing in to the sky was the work of preventive burns, igniting brush, trees, and grass to ignite the wild fire of its fuel.

    >> they're still in the thick of it and told nbc news the evacuation order may not be lifted until after the holiday weekend. that means the lab could stay closed just as long.

    >> it's sad that we had to evacuate whole town sites and shut down a lab. we haven't lost a life, we had no injuries. we're going to keep it that way.

    >> oh and yet the crews are exhausted. some working around the clock and determined to stay at it.

    >> conditions like this with the fuels and if the wind stays down, we'll be able to start getting the containment numbers up.

    >> it's very windy here, and firefighters say that's the biggest obstacle they're dealing with. natalie.

    >> we wish them a lot of luck there today. los alamos , new mexico. thank you.

msnbc.com news services
updated 6/30/2011 8:06:08 AM ET 2011-06-30T12:06:08

Firefighters for the first time gained control of a small edge of the fire near the Los Alamos National Laboratory on Wednesday, but were on alert for any spot fires that might fall within the nuclear weapons lab or nearby town.

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The so-called Las Conchas Fire, which continues to throw small fires onto Los Alamos National Laboratory, has grown to nearly 70,000 acres, fire information officer Linda Kearns said.

But about three percent of the fire's perimeter was finally contained, the first time firefighters were able to make headway on the blaze that had burned out of control since Sunday.

Some 350 firefighters and five helicopters have been battling the blaze, and more than 600 more crews were expected to join the firelines Wednesday.

"This is as dry as you can get, I've never seen it this dry," Los Alamos County Fire Chief Doug Tucker said at an afternoon press conference where he explained a plan to protect the town by clearing brush.

Kearns earlier reported "spots" had fallen on lab property "but they're putting them out pretty much right away."

However, Tucker later said he had no information about any additional spot fires beyond one put out on Monday.

A buried natural gas pipeline running near the northern edge of the fire has been turned off as a precaution, incident fire commander Joe Reinarz said. Los Alamos laboratory officials have been shutting down gas lines since the fire began to encroach on lab property earlier this week.

Both the town of Los Alamos, home to about 12,000 residents, and the laboratory, with a work force of about 15,000, were evacuated on Monday. The lab is scheduled to be shut down at least through Thursday.

Situated on a hilltop 35 miles northwest of Santa Fe, the lab property covers 36 square miles and includes about 2,000 buildings, none of which have yet burned.

Established during World War Two as part of the top-secret Manhattan Project to build the first atomic bomb, the complex remains one of the leading nuclear arms manufacturing facilities in the United States.

Video: Fire continues to threaten nuclear lab (on this page)

At a community meeting late on Tuesday, hundreds of evacuees gathered in a local gymnasium to hear updates and voice concern about about the potential of a radioactive smoke plume if the flames reach thousands of barrels of waste stored in above-ground tents at the lab. 

Mai Ting, a doctor living in nearby Pojoaque, said she was frustrated by the lack of information on how to stay safe.

"I'm not a fearmonger, but there's a reason this story is on the national and world news. It's because of the nuclear lab. I don't trust this fire," she said.

She added that she thought people staying near the fire should be consuming lots of potassium iodide and seaweed to counteract the potential effects of radiation.

"What do I tell my children and grandchildren?" she said. "Well, they've left. I didn't want them around here."

Some residents who decided to wait out the fire weren't concerned, including Mark Smith, a chemical engineer who works at the lab.

"The risk of exposure is so small. I wouldn't sit here and inhale plutonium. I may be crazy, but I'm not dumb," he said.

The Los Alamos complex contains three metric tons of highly radioactive weapons-grade plutonium, stored in concrete and steel vaults in the basement floor of a building near the center of the complex, with an air-containment system surrounding it, according to John Witham, a spokesman for the anti-nuclear watchdog group Nuclear Watch New Mexico.

Top lab officials and fire managers say there have been no releases of toxins. They say they're confident the flames won't reach key buildings or areas where radioactive waste is stored. As a last resort, foam could be sprayed on the barrels containing items that might have been contaminated through contact with radioactive materials to ensure they aren't damaged by fire, they said.

The site's manager for the National Nuclear Security Administration said he evaluated the precautions and felt comfortable. The agency oversees the lab for the Department of Energy.

"I have 170 people who validate their measures," Kevin Smith said. "They're in steel drums, on a concrete floor."

Lab Director Charles McMillan said the barrels contain transuranic waste — gloves, toolboxes, tools — and other items that may have been contaminated. An anti-nuclear group had estimated there could be up to 30,000 55-gallon drums stored at a site known as Area G, but lab spokeswoman Heather Clark said Wednesday there are 10,000 drums stored there under fire-retardant tents.

Tucker, whose fire department is responsible for protecting the lab, said the barrels are stacked about three high inside the tents.

Area G holds drums of cleanup from Cold War-era waste that the lab sends away for storage in weekly shipments, according to lab officials.

Still, lab officials called in teams late on Monday to monitor air quality, with high-volume air samplers ready to deploy.

Their effort includes dozens of fixed-air monitors on the ground, as well as a "flying laboratory" dispatched by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The special twin-engine plane is outfitted with sensors that can collect detailed samples.

Slideshow: Inside Los Alamos National Laboratory (on this page)

Kearns said firefighters from Wyoming, Texas, Colorado, Utah and California had been brought in to help fight the blaze, which began Sunday from what authorities believe was a tree falling on a power line.

"We are throwing absolutely everything at this that we got," Democratic Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico said in Los Alamos.

The fire grew by 10,000 acres overnight and has now burned through nearly 70,000 acres, or 108 square miles, of Santa Fe National Forest. Hot temperatures and gusts of up to 40 miles per hour were expected for Wednesday.

"Everything is just so dry and ready to burn," Tucker said. "We need some rain. Snow would be nice." He added that even containment lines had dangerous smoldering stumps and burning roots that could easily ignite fires.

Twelve homes and 18 other structures have been destroyed by the fire.

Reinarz said firefighting efforts would now be separated into two zones — a Northeast and a Southwest section — each with its own command section.

The wildfire has destroyed 30 structures south and west of Los Alamos, for many stirring memories of a blaze in May 2000 that destroyed hundreds of homes and buildings in town.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

Photos: Wildfires char Southwest US

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  1. A fire crew member is seen as firefighters are deployed in order to attack hotspots from the Las Conchas wildfire near Los Alamos, N.M. on June 30. The blaze has charred nearly 93,000 acres of thick pine woodlands on the slopes of the Jemez Mountains since erupting on Sunday near the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and was poised to become New Mexico's largest ever wildfire by day's end. (Eric Draper / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. A fire truck drives past trees charred in the Las Conchas fire in Los Alamos, N.M. on June 30. Firefighters were confident Thursday that they had stopped the advance of the wildfire that headed toward the Los Alamos nuclear lab and the nearby town. (Jae C. Hong / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. A wave of smoke billows as the Las Conchas Fire creeps into New Mexico's Cochiti canyon area on Wednesday, June 29. (Morgan Petroski / Albuquerque Journal) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Los Alamos Assistant Fire Chief Michael Thompson orders his men to pack up their hoses as flames from the fire move towards them on June 29. The government sent a plane equipped with radiation monitors over the Los Alamos nuclear laboratory as the wildfire burned at its doorstep, putting thousands of scientific experiments on hold for days. (Eddie Moore / The Albuquerque Journal via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. These deer seem oblivious to smoke from the Las Conchas fire on June 29. (Larry W. Smith / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. What seems to be a river of smoke winds its way through Cochiti Canyon on June 29. (Morgan Petroski / Albuquerque Journal) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Tom Whitson carries water and Gatorade that he is donating to fire evacuees on June 29 in Santa Fe, N.M. Whitson had to place his donations in the hallway because the room with the fire donations was getting too full. (Luis Sanchez Saturno / The New Mexican via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. A wall of smoke rises as the Las Conchas Fire burns through a canyon on June 29. (Morgan Petroski / Albuquerque Journal) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Firefighters Tim Adams, right, and Abraham Diaz, both of Apple Valley, Calif., carry a fire hose while battling the Las Conchas fire on June 29. (Jae C. Hong / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Alex Lopez, center, plays baseball with his sister Sugey while smoke from the Las Conchas fire covers the sky in Espanola, N.M., on June 29. (Jae C. Hong / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Los Alamos Fire Chief Doug Tucker shows a map of the Las Conchas fire during a news conference in Los Alamos on June 29. (Jae C. Hong / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Los Alamos Fire Chief Douglas Tucker (right) talks to the residents of Los Alamos during a meeting at the White Rock Baptist Church in White Rock, New Mexico about the Las Conchas fires, on June 29. About 12,000 people were placed under mandatory evacuation. (Larry W. Smith / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. National Guardsmen block one of the roads leading into the mountain area where the Las Conchas Fire burns on Wednesday, June 29. (Larry W. Smith / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. The sun rises near Los Alamos on June 29, shrouded in smoke from the Las Conchas fire. (Larry W. Smith / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Flames from the Las Conchas Fire burn in the Jemez Mountains near Los Alamos on the morning of June 28. (Eddie Moore / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Firefighter Chris Teters, of Portland, Ore., mops up hot spots in Pajarito Mountain ski area near Los Alamos, N.M. on June 28. Firefighters battled a vicious wildfire that was spreading through the mountains above the northern New Mexico town. (Jae C. Hong / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. A water truck sprays along the road in Los Alamos Canyon on June 28 as workers cleared the forest of brush and fallen fuel wood in hopes of slowing the fire should it crest the hill and head toward the city. (Jim Thompson / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. The Morrison family, Dee, top left, Taylor, 4, right, Bob, and Jeni, center, pack up their belongings following a mandatory evacuation ordered for Los Alamos, N.M., as the rapidly-growing Las Conchas wildfire approaches on Monday, June 27. (Craig Fritz / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Flames from the Las Conchas fire burn in the hills above Los Alamos National Laboratory, a vast complex that houses research laboratories and a plutonium facility, on June 27. Authorities said there was little threat to sensitive areas of the 28,000-acre complex, where explosives are stored in underground concrete and steel bunkers. (Craig Fritz / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Carissa Pittman consoles her daughter, Emily, 15, while her husband, Pete, in the car and son, Allen, 21, prepare to leave Los Alamos because of the wildfireon June 27. Thousands of residents calmly fled Monday from the mesa-top town. (Jane Phillips / The New Mexican via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. The sun filters through thick smoke from a wildfire burning near Los Alamos on June 27. (Susan Montoya Bryan / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Joel Montoya carries shoes and a shirts to his car as he evacuates his White Rock, N.M. home due to the wildfire on June 26. Los Alamos County authorities have issued voluntary evacuation orders for both Los Alamos and White Rock. (Luis Sanchez Saturno / The New Mexican via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Dillon Kerry looks through the charred remains of his home, which was destroyed by a wildfire, in Stoneham, Texas on Friday, June 24. Federal and local officials on Thursday lifted the last of the evacuation orders issued during the fight against the most-destructive wildfire in Southeast Texas. (David J. Phillip / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Fire crews from Rio Rico and Helmet Peak mop up hot spots in a storage trailer after the Monument Fire burned through Sierra Vista, Ariz., on Friday. (Greg Bryan / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. The Rio Bravo Hot Shots, of Kern County, Ca. work their there way up a trail to reach the fire line at the track fire northeast of Raton, N.M., Friday. Along the New Mexico-Colorado border, the winds Thursday pushed one fire toward breaks that had been carved into the rugged landscape by bulldozers. Crews had anticipated the fire's movement and were prepared to hold the line with help from helicopters and air tankers. (Rick Bowmer / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. Flames are seen over homes in Sierra Vista, Ariz., on Thursday. (Greg Bryan / Arizona Daily Star via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Helicopters leave after replenishing their water supply as they battle the Monument Fire in Hereford near Sierra Vista, Ariz. on Thursday afternoon. (Beatrice Richardson / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. Jackelyn Colon takes a moment with her son Omar Gonzalez, 1, at a shelter near Sierra Vista, Ariz., on Thursday, June 16, as the Monument fire continues to grow. The two had to flee their home on Wednesday. Forty homes were destroyed or damaged three days into the fire (Dean Knuth / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. A helicopter dumps fire retardant on a fire north of Raton, N.M., on June 16. The fire had charred nearly 26,000 acres before enough progress was made to allow evacuees back to their homes. (Rick Bowmer / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. A burnt structure is shown following the track fire north of Raton, N.M., on Thursday. (Rick Bowmer / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. The Monument fire burns north toward Sierra Vista, Ariz., on June 15. (David Sanders / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  32. A plane drops fire retardant to protect a neighborhood near Sierra Vista, Ariz., on Tuesday, June 14. (Greg Bryan/Arizona Daily Star / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  33. A helicopter picks up fire retardant at Luna Lake on the eastern edge of the Wallow fire outside Alpine, Ariz., near the state border west of the town of Luna, N.M., on June 14. The wildfire that has roared out of control for more than two weeks through the pine forests of eastern Arizona set a record on Tuesday as the largest in state history, having consumed over 469,000 acres. (Jim Urquhart / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  34. A wildland firefighter works at a hot spot on the eastern edge of the Wallow fire outside Alpine, Ariz. on June 14. (Jim Urquhart / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  35. A slurry bomber drops its load while fighting the Track fire at the Raton Pass in Northern New Mexico on June 13. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis / Albuquerque Journal via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  36. John Evans, an employee of the Arby's restaurant, puts up a thank you message for the firefighters who helped save the town of Eagar, Ariz., from the massive Wallow fire on June 13. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  37. A state police officer mans one of the entrance ramps of I-25 after the Track Fire at Raton Pass, N.M. closed the roadway on June 13. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis / Albuquerque Journal via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  38. A home burned in the Wallow fire is seen in Greer, Ariz., on June 13. (Jae C. Hong / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  39. Elks escape the wildfire in the forest around the Lee Valley recreational area in the Apache National Forest during back burn operations as the Wallow fire continues to burn June 12 in Big Lake, Ariz. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  40. A butterfly hovers over a flower as smoke rises around the Lee Valley recreational area in the Apache National Forest during back burn operations as the Wallow fire continues to burn, on June 12 in Big Lake, Ariz. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  41. Ralph Geisler, left, wife Stephanie, center, and their son-in-law Dustin Powers unload their belongings as they return home in Springerville, Ariz., June 12. Roughly 7,000 residents of two eastern Arizona towns who evacuated last week as a wildfire loomed nearby were allowed to return home Sunday as officials expressed confidence that they were making progress in their battle against the huge blaze that has been burning since May. (Jae C. Hong / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  42. Smoke rises as firefighters battle the Wallow Fire in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, Ariz., June 12. (Jae C. Hong / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  43. Evacuees Jimmy Joy, left, and his daughter Brittney, both of Blue, Ariz., look at a map of the Wallow Fire in a shelter set up at a high school in Lakeside, Ariz. on Saturday, June 11. (Jae C. Hong / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  44. Firefighters Wes Odom, left, Tarcy Wright and Cpt. Jimmy Neisen from Surprise, Ariz., work to put out a hot spot in a tree trunk on June 11, in Greer, Ariz. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  45. Tom Hansen, a 74-year-old evacuee from Springerville, Ariz., takes a nap in a shelter in Lakeside, Ariz., June 11. (Jae C. Hong / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  46. A firefighter sets a backburn to fight the Wallow Fire in Nutrioso, Ariz., on June 10. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  47. Smoke rises from the Wallow Fire as it burns toward homes south of Eagar, Ariz., on June 9. After reportedly being sparked by a campfire, the blaze has become the second-largest wildfire in state history and is still growing. (Rob Schumacher / The Arizona Republic via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  48. An emergency vehicle is seen as smoke from the Wallow Fire covers highway 60 in Springerville, Ariz., on June 9. Several mountain communities have evacuated in advance of the fire, and a utility that supplies power to customers in southern New Mexico and west Texas issued warnings of possible power interruptions. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  49. Firefighters walk up a hillside in Eagar on June 9. A spot fire at the edge of the larger blaze prompted the few residents left in Springerville and the neighboring community of Eagar to flee. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  50. Tom Hansen, left, and John Deublein, who both evacuated from Springerville, talk outside Blue Ridge High School in Pinetop-Lakeside, Ariz., on June 9. The school has been set up as a temporary evacuation center for residents affected by the wildfire. (Joshua Lott / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  51. A firefighter starts a backburn operation in an attempt to control the Wallow Fire along Highway 260 near Eagar on June 9. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  52. Yellow police tape indicating that the residents have evacuated hangs on a trailer home in Springerville on June 9. (Joshua Lott / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  53. Amelia Hernandez, left, chats with Becky Coffman who evacuated from Eager with her seven children, on June 9. The two met up at the evacuation shelter at Blue Ridge High School in Lakeside Arizona, west of the fire. Hernandez teaches some of the children at the Headstart center in Eager. The wildfire has consumed 386,000 acres of forest land since it began 11 days before. The massive wildfire continued to spread in eastern Arizona threatening high voltage electricity lines that transmit power from a nuclear power station to more than 300,000 customers in New Mexico and Texas. (Rick D'elia / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  54. Fire crew members sharpen their tools as they prepare for a backburn operation in Eagar, Ariz., on Wednesday, June 8. A raging forest fire in eastern Arizona has scorched an area the size of Phoenix, threatening thousands of residents and emptying towns as the flames moved toward New Mexico. (Jae C. Hong / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  55. An aerial view of the Wallow fire on June 8 from the MODIS instrument on board the Aqua satellite. The blaze has blackened about 389,000 acres and destroyed 11 buildings, primarily in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. No serious injuries have been reported. (NASA via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  56. Transmission lines from the Springerville Generating Station stretch south toward the plume of smoke being generated by the Wallow Fire burning near Springerville, Ariz., on June 8. The raging forest fire in eastern Arizona that has forced thousands from their homes headed Wednesday for a pair of transmission lines that supply electricity to hundreds of thousands of people as far east as Texas. (Susan Montoya Bryan / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  57. From left, Cheyann Alba, her uncle Mark White and cousin Chelsea Soderberg evacuate with their family's horses as the Wallow Fire approaches in Eagar, Ariz., on June 8. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  58. Firefighter Jan Koch poses for a portrait with his face covered in soot after working the Wallow Wildfire in Springerville, Ariz., on June 7. (Joshua Lott / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  59. Miles of smoke billow skyward from the Wallow Fire on June 7 near Greer, Arizona. Officials say the blaze has already burned 486 square miles and winds have been driving the flames 5 to 8 miles a day since the fire began a week ago. (Ross D. Franklin / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  60. Wayne Lutz takes a break from raking dead grass as he tries to protect his house from the Wallow Wildfire in Eagar, Ariz. on June 7. A stubborn wildfire in eastern Ariz. that has forced the evacuation of as many as 3,000 people flared out of control for a 10th day on Tuesday and advanced on two more mountain towns near New Mexico. At midday Tuesday, fire officials said the so-called Wallow Fire had charred more than 311,000 acres since it erupted on May 29, and now ranks as the second-largest wildfire in Arizona's history. (Joshua Lott / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  61. Public information officer Theresa Mendoza walks on a ridge top as the Wallow Fire burns behind her outside of Eagar, Ariz. on June 8. A raging forest fire in eastern Ariz. has scorched an area the size of Phoenix, threatening thousands of residents and emptying towns as the flames race toward New Mexico. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  62. A view of the Wallow Wildfire is pictured in the distance seen along the U.S. Route 180 as smoke fills the sky in Luna, New Mexico on June 6. A wildfire that has charred more than 350 square miles in eastern Ariz. forced the evacuation of a third town on Monday and crept near populated areas along the New Mexico border as it raged out of control for a ninth day. The so-called Wallow Fire, burning about 250 miles northeast of Phoenix and stretching to near the Arizona-New Mexico border, ranks as the third-largest fire on record in Ariz. (Joshua Lott / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  63. Fire crew members from Redding, Calif., prepare for a back burn operation during the Wallow fire in Eagar, Ariz., Wednesday, June 8. A raging forest fire in eastern Ariz. has scorched an area the size of Phoenix, threatening thousands of residents and emptying towns as the flames raced toward New Mexico. (Jae C. Hong / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  64. Southwest Area Fire Management public information officer Jim Whittington points to a fire map during a news conference on June 8 in Springerville, Ariz.. Hundreds of thousands of acres have burned in eastern Ariz. prompting evacuations by residents. Smoke loomed over the twin towns of Eager and Springerville, home to about 7,000 people north of the fire. (Eric Thayer / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  65. Former mayor and volunteer Kay Dyson listens to a press conference about the Wallow fire on June 8 in Springerville, Ariz. Hundreds of thousands of acres have burned in eastern Arizona prompting evacuations by residents. Smoke loomed over the twin towns of Eager and Springerville, home to about 7,000 people north of the fire. (Eric Thayer / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  66. A water dropping helicopter swoops by the burning Wallow Fire outside of Eagar, Ariz., Wednesday, June 8. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  67. A firefighter sleeps at the incident command post for the Wallow fire June 8 in Springerville, Ariz.. Hundreds of thousands of acres have burned in eastern Arizona prompting evacuations by residents. (Eric Thayer / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  68. Smoke from the Wallow Wildfire surround trees in Eagar, Ariz. June 7. (Joshua Lott / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Image: A fire crew member is seen as fire crews are deployed in order to attack hotspots from the Las Conchas wildfire near Los Alamos, New Mexico
    Eric Draper / Reuters
    Above: Slideshow (68) Wildfires char Southwest US
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