Despite strong, erratic winds, fire-fighters are confident they can keep a wildfire from reaching a mountain community in northern New Mexico that is home to America’s premier nuclear weapons laboratory.

The lab has been shut down since Monday, when all of the town of Los Alamos and some of its surrounding areas, 12,000 people in all, were evacuated.

Lines on the southern and western edges of Los Alamos National Laboratory are holding. But fire officials said Thursday that flames have reached sacred Native American sites to the north.

The Las Conchas fire has charred nearly 375 sq km since starting Sunday, and officials believe the blaze will soon become the largest forest fire in New Mexico history.


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