Eleven years ago the US Park Service did a controlled burn (in 40 mph winds) southwest of Los Alamos, NM, -which burned up 50,000 acres and 400 homes.
The Cerro Grande Fire was a disastrous forest fire in New Mexico, United States of America that occurred in May 2000. The fire started as a controlled burn, and became uncontrolled owing to high winds and drought conditions. Over 400 families in the town of Los Alamos, New Mexico lost their homes in the resulting 48,000 acre (190 km²) fire. Structures at Los Alamos National Laboratory were also destroyed or damaged, although without loss or destruction of any of the special nuclear material housed there. Amazingly, there was no loss of human life. The US General Accounting Office estimated total damages at one billion US Dollars.
After the fire stopped, the government had to quickly build huge dams (ahead of the summer monsoons) to stop the spread of shallow buried WWII nuclear waste into the Rio Grande. Good thing we have government working hard to protect our environment!