The Cerro Pelado wildfire in New Mexico, which started a month ago today, was about 80% contained on Sunday, according to the latest update from state and federal agencies.
Firefighters over the weekend gained a little ground on the blaze compared with last week, in part thanks to cooler temperatures and less intense winds.
The fire briefly tilted Los Alamos back to maximum telecommuting, with everyone but mission-essential workers told to stay home in case local authorities gave the order to evacuate. The lab had ended its broad, COVID-19-related maximum telework posture only days before the blaze broke out.
In Washington last week, with the senior leadership of the National Nuclear Security Administration in the middle of its annual round of public budget hearings before Congress, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) seized on the wildfire as a reason to split the manufacture of future plutonium pits, fissile nuclear warhead cores, between Los Alamos and the Savannah River Site.