Anger, frustration over wildfire as Biden visits New Mexico -Breaking
© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden makes his way to Ohio, leaving the White House, Washington, U.S.A, on May 6, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photograph
Trevor Hunnicutt, Andrew Hay
TAOS N.M., LOS ANGELES (Reuters), – The anger and frustration expressed by New Mexico wildfire victims will greet President Joe Biden on Saturday as he arrives in the state to discuss efforts to combat the worst wildfires ever recorded. This was a federally initiated blaze that began with officials from the U.S.
Since two U.S. Forest Service controlled fires in April, hundreds of houses in the mountains northeast of Santa Fe have been destroyed by wind and drought.
Tens of thousands have fled villages in Indo-Hispano, where the poverty rate is twice that of the country. This has weakened fragile economies. Residents cut wood and hay for their survival.
Ella Arellano said that Biden and Michelle Lujan (Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham) do not have any plans or resources to restore the mountain forests that were destroyed. Her family had lost thousands of acres around Holman.
Communities are now preparing to deal with mudslides and ash flows in the areas that were affected by extreme fire, which has left 320,000 acres of mountainous terrain (129,500 ha) blackened.
Biden, before he left for New Mexico, stated that he was in favor of full federal funding to cover the costs associated with firefighting or recovery. However it still needed congressional approval.
Biden stated that he couldn’t make the full funding commitment on his own.
Over $3,000,000 has been distributed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to nearly 900 homes. FEMA maximum payouts for houses that have been destroyed are only $40,000, but this is not sufficient to pay the cost of equipment and farm supplies lost in fires. One house likely had a value of hundreds of thousands.
This blaze, along with one in New Mexico’s southwest, is the largest ever recorded in New Mexico state history. It highlights concerns about climate change which is increasing fires and threatening forests across the United States.
Investigators discovered that the Hermits Peak Fire was started by a USFS controlled fire. Calf Canyon Fire was started by an April 19 USFS log pile and branch burn. On April 22, the fires were merged.
U.S. Forest Service called for an immediate halt in nationwide controlled fires.