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Backfire Set In Path Of Los Alamos Blaze

Tue., April 30, 1996, midnight

Firefighters burned brush in the path of a forest fire Monday, hoping to halt its advance on the Los Alamos nuclear weapons laboratory and ancient Indian ruins.

The wind-whipped fire has burned 14,500 acres over five days in northern New Mexico, moving over parched, rugged hills and canyons to within six miles of Los Alamos National Laboratory, which was open as usual.

“There’s a lot of concern among some people about nuclear materials being lofted into the air,” spokesman John Gustafson said. “Let me assure you there’s no danger. Those materials are stored safely in our facilities.”

The fire was burning at an elevation of 8,000 to 8,500 feet in the Santa Fe National Forest and Bandelier National Monument, northwest of Santa Fe.

The blaze had not reached the ancient cliff dwellings of the Anasazi Indians. Cooler temperatures Monday helped firefighters.

The following fields overflowed: DATELINE = BANDELIER NATIONAL MONUMENT, N.M.


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