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New Mexico Wildfires: Los Alamos at the Mercy of Mother NatureAired May 11, 2000 - 7:32 a.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Let's update you now on these fires that are raging in New Mexico. We go now to the scene this morning. We're being joined by Rosalinda Roman, she is of our affiliate KOAT, and she joins us after having just spoken with fire officials out there.
Rosalinda, what can you tell us?
ROSALINDA ROMAN, KOAT-TV REPORTER: Good morning, Leon.
That is true. We just spoke to Lawrence Lopez (ph), he's a Los Alamos firefighter here on the front lines. He just got off of the front lines and says it's absolutely devastating. He's actually from here and he said he watched as his friends and families' homes went up in flames, and it's just been really tough for them because they are out there on the lines and there's not a lot they can do.
So it's really kind of a situation where they are out there trying to fight the fires. Obviously, it's absolutely devastating, 18,000 acres have gone up in flames. Where we're standing is on the edge of the city of Los Alamos and we can actually see huge billowing smoke, lots of spot fires along the mountain range there, and you can visibly see how devastating it is.
HARRIS: Rosalinda, can you tell me whether or not the fire officials you have spoken with have expressed any frustration now. Do they have a sense of where this fire may actually be stopped?
ROMAN: Well, no, they don't, and they are really at the mercy of Mother Nature at this point. We just spoke to Bill Paxson, and he's with the Forest Service, and his biggest concern is that the winds are just going to get worse today. He talked a lot about the fact that the number-one priority is to keep his firefighters safe, and that means not putting them in the line of fire, and of course, that means not being able to put out the fire because. unless they can get down there with some of the equipment, they really can't do much. So they're just literally watching as the homes just go up in flames.
HARRIS: It also could mean more evacuations to come. Rosalinda Roman, of our affiliate KOAT, we appreciate it very much.
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