Update on the U.S. Ecology Industrial Fire in Nye County
Approximately 24 hours after notification of a fire at a low-level radioactive storage site near Beatty, Nevada, the State of Nevada has determined that there are no known current health risks to area residents associated with the fire. Department of Public Safety Director Jim Wright has authorized the opening of U.S. Highway 95 beginning at 5:30 p.m.
In response to the fire, and at the request of the Governor, the Department of Public Safety, including the Nevada Highway Patrol, State Fire Marshal, and Division of Emergency Management, Department of Health and Human Services, Nevada National Guard including the Civil Support Team, Department of Transportation, and Division of Environment Protection continue to work closely together to monitor the situation. The Governor has approved the mobilization of state assistance and resources to access the incident. The state Emergency Operations Center in Carson City has been activated to continue coordinating resources and provide updates.
With respect to radiological testing, these resources included high altitude testing conducted by fixed-wing aircraft and intermediate altitude testing conducted by rotary wing aircraft over the site of the fire, both by Remote Sensing Laboratories. A joint team made of up Las Vegas ARMOR personnel, Nevada National Guard Civil Support Team personnel, and additional members from Remote Sensing Laboratories, was also deployed to take readings at the ground level. All levels of testing conducted resulted in negative readings for radiation.
Governor Sandoval received a briefing this afternoon regarding the testing results and ongoing efforts. “I would like to thank all of our local, state and federal partners for their immediate and continued attention to this matter,” said Governor Brian Sandoval. “This was a serious incident, and one that could only be solved through collaboration between state, local, and federal partners,” said Caleb Cage, Chief of DPS’s Division of Emergency Management. “We are pleased with how efficiently and effectively our partners deployed from throughout the state to respond to this significant event, and we look forward to working with all parties on the causal investigation and mitigation measures going forward.”
Because this emergency coincided with a series of flash flooding events, multiple precautions were taken protect local residents. Schools and roads were closed in response to both events. State and local agencies are actively working to reinstate services to all of Nevada’s residents and visitors in the area.
Chief of the Division of Emergency Management Caleb Cage, Director of Public Safety Jim Wright, Department of Health and Human Services Radiation Control Supervisor Jon Bakkedahl, and Pete Mulvihill State Fire Marshal will be available for a press briefing call at 6:00 p.m. PDT, this evening.
Call-in information for members of the media are:
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