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WERC offers in-depth look at Cerro Grande fire

New Mexico residents will have an opportunity to examine in detail the Cerro Grande fire that devastated the Los Alamos area in May 2000.

Consortium for Environmental Education and Technology Development has made the Cerro Grande fire the topic of a colloquium to be held May 30 at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque. Representatives of the Los Alamos National Laboratory and agencies involved in the emergency response, community recovery and environmental rehabilitation after the fire will share their perspectives.

The "Cerro Grande Colloquium: The Comprehensive Story" will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 30, at the Department of Energy Training Complex, 1401 Maxwell St., Kirtland Air Force Base West. The colloquium is offered to the public. The cost is $75 a person.

"Sadly, the fire gave us a unique opportunity to study the methods of response to such a crisis and the issues related to environmental contamination and rehabilitation in the aftermath," said Abbas Ghassemi, executive director of WERC. "It's important for us to capture what's been learned from this experience."

Designed as a lessons-learned presentation, the colloquium will be especially useful to people who may have to respond to a similar event in the future, such as environmental managers and law enforcement and fire protection personnel.

The event is produced in cooperation with the Los Alamos National Laboratory, part of the WERC consortium, which also includes New Mexico State University, the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, the University of New Mexico, Diné College and Sandia National Laboratories.

For more information call (800) 523-5996 or visit www.werc.net.