NM Wildfire Update - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

NM Wildfire Update

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) -- While thousands of people have left their homes, some residents in northern New Mexico are waiting out the wildfire that has swelled to 93 square miles.

Mark Smith, a chemical engineer at the nearby Los Alamos National Laboratory, says he isn't concerned about flames reaching the lab's sensitive materials. Smith says the risk of exposure is small. And he says he wouldn't sit there and inhale plutonium. As Smith puts it: "I may be crazy but I'm not dumb."

Lab officials say radioactive materials are safe and there has been no contamination. Personnel are monitoring the air. The lab also has monitors that can be used to check for possible radiation contamination from the fire.

The wildfire -- which has swelled to about 93 square miles -- sparked a spot fire at the laboratory yesterday. The fire was quickly contained.

The streets of Los Alamos are empty, with the exception of emergency vehicles and National Guard Humvees.

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