While the Superintendent of Forests in the Santa Fe National Forest, Debbie Criss, has been temporarily appointed to the position of acting deputy chief of staff for the US Forest Service in Washington, James Doran will serve as the acting superintendent for the next four months. This is happening while the largest fire in New Mexico’s recorded history, the Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon Fire, still has no official content.
From the Associated Press:
Some questioned the timing given that the bushfires had not yet been announced and recovery work had just begun, and forest officials dismissed the criticism, saying the opportunity for Cress to work at the headquarters initially came in January and was a culmination of her completed work. Last year led by the agency.
Kris admitted in a statement Friday that it was a difficult time as her home state deals with the effects of the massive wildfires.
The 341,735-acre fire was the result of two described fires in the Santa Fe National Forest that escaped control. One of them was a radio burn through the control lines during strong winds. The other arose from leaning piles ignited in late January that continued to burn for months. In mid-April, one or more mounds became very active and started spreading and merging with the others that survived the fire on April 22nd.
In 2018, another mound burning project in Santa Fe escaped months after it caught fire and had to be turned into a wildfire. Facilitated learning analysis found that “communication” and “preparedness for specific fire and hazard” were common themes.
Ms. Chris began her job as a forest superintendent in April of 2021. Three months ago, the Santa Fe New Mexico newspaper reported that she had transitioned from a district ranger in Arizona to a deputy forest superintendent in the Santa Fe National Forest.
Thanks and a tip of the hat out to Jim and Gerald.