Federal Emergency Management Agency devotes more resources to outstanding claims filed by New Mexico wildfire victims

By susan Montoya Bryan
The Associate Press
January 23, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said Tuesday that it is devoting more resources to processing outstanding claims filed by victims of the largest wildfire in New Mexico’s recorded history. The 2022 blaze was caused by a pair of prescribed fires that were set by the U.S. Forest Service in an attempt to clear out vegetation to reduce the threat of a catastrophic wildfire. Officials have acknowledged that they underestimated the dry conditions that had been plaguing the region for years. Hundreds of homes were destroyed and mountains were charred, leaving behind damage that experts say will have environmental effects for decades to come. …The agency has received $518 million in claims and has approved $330 million in payments so far for people with losses. The federal government set aside nearly $4 billion last year to pay claims related to the wildfire. Lawsuits have been filed by residents who say FEMA has been slow to pay their claims.

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