June 15, 2000
As the JAVMA went to press, disaster efforts were continuing to combat the Cerro Grande fires in the vicinity of Los Alamos, NM. The Department of Health and Human Services had reported that the fires, which began in mid-May, had burned over 50,000 acres. Los Alamos and White Rock were successfully evacuated prior to the fire reaching these communities. The fires subsequently destroyed about 260 homes.
As part of the increasing fire suppression efforts, Dr. Lorna Lanman, the administrative officer of VMAT#4, was activated and deployed (under the direction of the National Disaster Medical System) to the management support team set up in New Mexico in response to the fires. The NDMS Emergency Operations System in Rockville, Md, was set up and operating 24 hours a day. Situation reports on their efforts are available from the NDMS Web site, http://ndms.dhhs.gov. Updates on the New Mexico fires and other disasters can be found at www.avma.org.