2000 : Park Service Burns Up 400 Homes In Los Alamos

Eleven years ago the US Park Service did a controlled burn (in 40 mph winds) southwest of Los Alamos, NM, -which burned up 50,000 acres and 400 homes.

The Cerro Grande Fire was a disastrous forest fire in New Mexico, United States of America that occurred in May 2000. The fire started as a controlled burn, and became uncontrolled owing to high winds and drought conditions. Over 400 families in the town of Los Alamos, New Mexico lost their homes in the resulting 48,000 acre (190 km²) fire. Structures at Los Alamos National Laboratory were also destroyed or damaged, although without loss or destruction of any of the special nuclear material housed there. Amazingly, there was no loss of human life. The US General Accounting Office estimated total damages at one billion US Dollars.


After the fire stopped, the government had to quickly build huge dams (ahead of the summer monsoons) to stop the spread of shallow buried WWII nuclear waste into the Rio Grande.  Good thing we have government working hard to protect our environment!

About Tony Heller

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9 Responses to 2000 : Park Service Burns Up 400 Homes In Los Alamos

  1. suyts says:

    Yep, a great example. “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

  2. Al Gored says:

    Too much fuel buildup set the stage for this, and too many fools let it happen.

  3. glacierman says:

    I wonder if that performance got them promoted to satellite launch team at NASA.

  4. RAD says:

    A correction is needed: It was the National Park Service; not the US Forest Service.

    Google ‘Cerro Grand Fire’ and/or follow the above mentioned Wicki url.

  5. Curt says:

    The problem is, we need controlled burns to undo the effect of 100 years of Smokey the Bear fire suppression. After the Los Alamos debacle, it’s almost impossible to do even in the appropriate weather conditions.

  6. Andy Weiss says:

    Yes, it was similar to the controlled burn at Waco with 40 mph winds where innocent women and children were deliberately incinerated by our Government.

  7. Baa Humbug says:

    Who in their right mind does controlled burns in strong winds?
    At least the enviro chick in Israel burned down Israel by accident, but “controlled” burn offs in 40mph winds? Where was their brains?

  8. Travis says:

    You so have to become a reader or LewRockwell.com. Start with the blog. I promise, you won’t regret it.

  9. Andy Weiss says:

    Everyone knows that the April 1993 Waco raid took place on a day with high winds. The conventional wisdom it that it always windy in Texas.

    The fact of the matter is forecasts from Government produced weather models were showing that the winds on the 19th (the day of the raid) were going to be unusually high at least 48 hours prior to the raid. And the 19th did turn out to be the windiest day of April 1993 up to that point.

    Meanwhile, the same models were showing on the 21st that winds were going to be light.

    It’s hard to believe that Janet Reno, et al didn’t have access to these forecasts. You would think weather would be the first thing they would look at in planning the raid.

    The high winds on the 19th did ensure that the fire would spread rapidly thru the compound, giving the residents very little chance to escape. If the Government cared about innocent women and children, they obviously would have waited until the 21st when winds were light.

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