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Los Alamos fire moves north: 'It really hurts'

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Fire raises concerns for power plants
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Fire near Los Alamos consumes over 100,000 acres
  • More than 1,200 personnel, manning 52 engines, are battling the flames
  • More than 10,000 people have been evacuated because of the threat
  • Los Alamos lab is closed through at least Friday
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(CNN) -- The wildfire roaring through New Mexico near Los Alamos is not over, but much of the danger has been shifted from that community.

The fire steadily moves north, which could potentially impact the Santa Clara Pueblo.

"I saw what was happening in Santa Clara," said Los Alamos Fire Chief Doug Tucker Friday. "Knowing that we went through it -- it really hurts."

Los Alamos citizens are still not allowed to repopulate the town and no date has been given as to when they can return.

Are there wildfires in your area? Share your story, but please stay safe.

"We're not going to give a lot of hours or advanced notice when we make the announcement for you to come home," said Police Chief Police Wayne Torpy. "We want you to come home safely."

Still, Tucker is optimistic.

"Today should be a better day," said Tucker. "The county's looking good. We have no structure fires."

Meanwhile, the Las Conchas fire is burning nearly unabated through the Santa Fe National Forest and Valles Caldera National Preserve and heads north to the Santa Clara Pueblo and other communities.

Some fire teams are moving north to assist with the shifting struggle, said Jerome McDonald, a part of the management team overseeing efforts to fight the fire.

By Friday, it had charred 93,678 acres and strong winds threatened to be the firefighters' greatest challenge.

The Las Conchas Fire began on private land Sunday and expanded into the Santa Fe National Forest and Jemez Ranger District, according to InciWeb, an online database that keeps track of natural disasters such as fires and floods.

The fire was 3% contained Friday.

The Las Conchas Fire is one of several burning in the region.

The Donaldson Fire south of the town of Hondo and U.S. Highway 70 grew 68% on Thursday, consuming an estimated 72,650 acres, according InciWeb. It is 10% contained.

The Pacheco Fire continues to burn in the Pecos Wilderness, two miles north of the Santa Fe Ski Basin. It has scorched 10,116 acres since it began June 18.

The blaze was 27% contained early Friday, with the potential for growth considered low, according to InciWeb.

CNN's Ed Payne, Molly Green and Craig Bell contributed to this report

 
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