New Mexico wildfire sparked by Forest Service after pressure to burn

Hermitz Peak and Calf Canyon wildfires will burn near Las Vegas, New Mexico, USA, May 4, 2022. REUTERS / Kevin Mohatt

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June 22 (Reuters) – The United States Forest Service in New Mexico may have ignored the dangers of wildfires caused by wildfires in the state, according to the agency.

Increased fire targets and requests from local authorities have led to “unrealistic expectations” and “acceptance of unforeseen dangers” in the April 6 fire in East Fe, according to the study.

Moore ordered the review, which was released on Tuesday, and ordered a 90-day break to see what lessons could be learned from the accident.

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The study found that the decades-long drought had been devastating.

It quickly fell out of control and, in conjunction with another USFS fire, burned 341,000 hectares of land and destroyed 432 homes in mountainous communities.

According to the review, “district firefighters are aware that they are pressuring them to” carry out their mission, “which could lead to more accidents.

President Joe Biden’s Infrastructure Initiative has allocated $ 3 billion to reduce the risk of wildfires and quadrupled some USFS areas.

In New Mexico, he said, unskilled and armed USFS staff focused on enforcing agency policies rather than changing environmental conditions.

Moore blamed the blaze on climate change in a statement attached to the review.

“Drought, extreme weather, wind and unpredictable weather are challenging to use as a fire extinguisher,” he said.

The fire further strained relations between the New Mexico communities and the USFS, which occupies large swathes of land held in the Indian-Hispanic villages more than a hundred years ago.

“Not apologizing, the forest administration has not taken the wrong direction in this country,” said local lawyer Anton Roybal-Mack, who is preparing to represent his residents in the lawsuit against the USFS. .

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Reporting by Andrew Hay in Taos, New Mexico; Edited by Donna Brisson and Lisa Schumacher

Our standards are published in The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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