The Biden administration says it caused two blazes that merged into New Mexico’s largest-ever fire, destroying hundreds of homes
President Joe Biden’s administration has identified the culprit behind the two blazes that merged last month to become the state of New Mexico’s biggest wildfire on record: the government itself.
Both fires were started by US Forest Service (USFS) accidentally, according to agency on Friday. Each fire was traced back at controlled burns by the USFS, which were performed to avoid wildfires.
According to the agency, the Hermits Peak Fire was started by a controlled burning that became out of control April 6. The Calf Canyon Fire was created when the USFS believed that a burned pile had been extinguished completely in January.
The fires combined and blazed nearly 500 miles of Sangre de Cristo valleys and forests at high altitude. This combined inferno destroyed at most 330 homes, and forced thousands to flee their communities. The combined inferno caused environmental destruction, destroying wildlife habitats and denuding hills, making it more vulnerable to mudslides.
“The news today that the USFS also started the Calf Canyon fire adds to our sense of outrage,” US Representative Teresa Leger FernandezThe Democratic Senator from New Mexico, said Friday. “The destruction these two fires caused is immeasurable and will be felt for generations.” She has introduced a bill to compensate property owners for their losses.
These losses keep increasing as the fire rages. It was only 48% contained on Saturday morning, despite nearly 3,000 volunteers fighting the fire. It has cost $132 million to fight the fire and is rising at an average of $5million per day.
Michelle Lujan Grisham, New Mexico Governor, has asked for federal assistance to cover all damages from the fire. “The pain and suffering of New Mexicans caused by these actions is unfathomable,”The governor stated. Elle stated that federal forest managers need to reexamine their fire-management methods. “make sure they account for a rapidly changing climate.”
Today the U.S. Forest Service reported that the Calf Canyon Fire was ignited by a federal fire. It merged with Hermits Peak Fire and became the biggest wildfire in New Mexico’s history.
— Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (@GovMLG) May 27, 2022
But it was this kind of effort that led the increase in intentional burns. Jan. 1, the Biden administration stated that it was spending $50 billion on wildfire prevention. “hot spots”Climate change has made us more vulnerable. Programs for 10 years include a doubled number of controlled fires that help to reduce the amount of tinder and thin forests.
The USFS last week suspended use of prescribed burns while the agency conducts a 90-day review of its practices. Hermits Peak was set ablaze when “unexpected erratic winds”Multiple spot fires erupted outside of the control burn area.
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“Our commitment is to manage the public lands entrusted to us by improving the forest’s resilience to the many stressors they are facing, including larger, hotter wildfires, historic levels of drought, rising temperatures, and insects and disease,”Debbie Cress was a USFS supervisor at the Santa Fe National Forest.