BY JENNIFER GUY
Los Alamos Public Schools
Today, I met with the Cerro Pelado Fire response teams from the Los Alamos County and LANL. I am happy to report that the situation with the fire has greatly improved since Sunday. After reviewing the current data on the fire with the experts, we believe that we can safely return students to school on Monday, May 16.
Some of the main reasons for this decision are around the fire behavior and current weather predictions.
- The fire growth has slowed significantly over the past two days.
- Moderate weather is predicted for the next 5 days including no red flag warnings for wind.
- Temperatures will be cooler especially at night.
- The fire has not established itself in Frijoles Canyon.
- The Great Basin Team 1 and other agencies have over 1000 people working on the fire along with significant air support.
While fire behavior is impossible to fully predict, based on the factors considered, we are confident that we would have at least 24 hours notice before an evacuation. We will plan to safely return students to campus on Monday, May 16 for regular school hours. We will closely monitor the situation with the fire daily.
Los Alamos County remains in the SET posture based on the Ready, Set, Go! protocol. We will continue to work closely with County Emergency Manager Beverley Simpson to stay updated on the situation and will adjust our plans if needed.
Los Alamos National Lab, Los Alamos County, and other local employers will most likely remain in maximum telework. We know this creates a unique challenge for some of our families. We also know that different families have different comfort levels with this emergency situation. If you are not able to return your child to school next week, call your school’s attendance line and let them know that your child will be out of school due to the fire. All absences related to the fire will be excused.
We will continue to monitor the situation over the weekend, but at this time, we plan to open schools on Monday, May 16. All before and after school sports and activities will resume as normally scheduled.
The Cerro Pelado Incident Command will hold a community meeting tonight at Los Alamos High School in Griffith Gym (1300 Diamond Dr.) at 5:30. You can join in person or through Zoom or Facebook Live. The streaming information is below.
We appreciate your patience this week. We will keep the safety of our students and community as our top priority. We continue to have covid tests and masks available to all students. Please contact your school nurse or call 663-2222 if you need a Covid test. You can pick up tests at 2075 Trinity Drive on Monday – Friday from 8-4. We encourage anyone who traveled recently or was in close contact with someone who was positive for Covid to test before returning to school on Monday.
We only have two weeks of school left! We want to finish safely together!
Cerro Pelado Fire Community Update:
When: Thursday, May 12, 2022 at 5:30 pm
Where: Los Alamos High School, Griffith Gym
1300 Diamond Drive, Los Alamos, NM
Cerro Pelado Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/2022.CerroPeladoFire/
Also posted to: https://lacnm.com/CerroPelado.