Grassfire involving Site 300 is extinguished

July 20, 2005

Grassfire involving Site 300 is extinguished

Earlier controlled burn protected Lab structures

Site 300 Employee Advisory
Site 300 will be operational on Thursday, and employees should return to their work assignments. For additional information, employees may contact the emergency communication message system at 4-LLNL.

LIVERMORE, Calif. -- Officials of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory said this afternoon that no structures were damaged and no one was injured, by a 10,000 acre grass fire that strayed onto Site 300, an experimental test facility located near the San Joaquin-Alameda County border, 15 miles southeast from the main Lab site. Only about 200 acres of Site 300's nearly 7,000 acres were affected.

The grassfire, named “the Tesla fire” because of its point of origin, broke out early Tuesday evening. By midnight, no flames were visible on Site 300 property. The fire was declared completely contained Wednesday morning.

The Laboratory declared an operational emergency late Tuesday afternoon, when the Lab's fire department was asked to provide mutual aid to other agencies fighting the fast-moving blaze.

Lab fire chief Randy Bradley said, “We have recently completed a series of controlled burns to eliminate dangerous dry grassy areas and provide buffer zones around our structures here. At no time were any critical facilities threatened, nor was there any danger that any hazardous materials could be released.”

He added, “I want to emphasize that this was a typical grass fire, many miles away from the main Laboratory. Our fire station at Site 300 is always staffed for fires like this, and was well-prepared to respond.”

Site 300 personnel were asked to remain off-site Wednesday to allow emergency crews access to the area. The site will be operational Thursday morning, and employees should return to work. Employees can call (925) 424-5565 (4-LLNL) to get additional details.

The fire began just west of the site between 4 and 5 p.m. Tuesday. Winds carried the fire onto Lab property, and then pushed it eastward and off-site by midnight.

Firefighters are investigating the cause of the fire.

More than 650 firefighters from the Laboratory, California Department of Forestry, Livermore-Pleasanton, Alameda County, Tracy and San Joaquin County worked through the night to fight the fire. Alameda County Fire served as incident command out of the Lab’s Site 300 fire station.

Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has a mission to ensure national security and to apply science and technology to the important issues of our time. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.