U.S. makes more wildfire recovery aid available for New Mexico

On May 4, the sky darkened around the Cleveland NM. US President Joe Biden has authorized increased funding for debris and other emergency measures in response to this year’s New Mexico fire. (Jim Weber / Santa Fe New Mexico via AP file)

ALBUQUERQUE – US President Joe Biden has authorized increased funding for deforestation and other emergency measures in response to a wildfire that was ordered by federal forest officials during a historic wildfire in New Mexico.

The additional funding will come with an updated emergency declaration signed by the president, which will require direct federal assistance to increase 100% of the total eligibility expense for 90 days after the declaration.

The wildfires on the Rocky Mountains in northern New Mexico are the largest in the United States in the spring of northern New Mexico, sparked by two government fires in April.

US forest service managers have underestimated how dry things are in the Southwest over the past two decades, and a recent report acknowledges that modeling and training should be taken into account in difficult situations.

Thousands of residents were displaced, hundreds of homes were destroyed, and authorities are now warning of flooding.

Burns in New Mexico and neighboring Arizona have been hit hard in recent days, with the rainy season beginning in the southwestern state.

Scott Sterns, a meteorologist assigned to deal with the massive fire in New Mexico, said Monday that up to three inches of rain had fallen in some parts of the fire over the past three days – covering more than 533 square miles in the Sanggre de Cristo area. .

According to Sterns, the soil is saturated and the vegetation is wet, so there is a high risk of flooding.

“There is not much that we can do now,” he said. “The best thing is that we are still experiencing relatively long periods of humidity and this is always good to increase (relative humidity), which will help us in terms of fuel conditions.”

The federal government has been widely criticized for causing a major fire in New Mexico, and some residents have been forced into a bureaucracy to pay for their losses.

During a visit earlier this month, Biden promised that the federal government would cover the cost of responding to the disaster and removing the debris, which was previously shared with the regional government.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, more than $ 3.5 million has been approved for housing and other needs.

The agency has been assessing disasters in several states from Minnesota to Tennessee since late April due to wildfires, hurricanes and floods.

Scientists and government officials have warned of more severe weather. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates that more than $ 1 billion a year was lost in 20 air or climate disasters in the United States.

In southwestern Mexico, a half-inch of rain fell every day, halting efforts to repair fire lines around a wildfire in the Black Sea region.

Parts of northern Arizona have been hit by a series of wildfires and forced evictions in recent months, with hurricanes bringing down rain, snow and wind over the weekend. According to the National Weather Service, streams and waterways in some areas near the Flag Staff are flooded.

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