Multiple agencies work seamlessly to aid while fire danger remains
SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) in partnership and coordination with federal, local, tribal, and other state agencies are focused on providing support and step by step guidance to New Mexico residents, business owners and visitors affected by recent fires, most of which began about a week ago. Cooperative weekend weather allowed fire crews to make progress fighting the Hermit’s Peak, Nogal Canyon, and McBride blazes, but the fire threat remains as windy, dry conditions persist.
“It is an incredibly difficult situation for residents to navigate,” said DHSEM Deputy Secretary Kelly Hamilton. “Communities are anxious to know what happens next and that is what emergency response teams are diligently working on. We want to make the recovery process as easy as possible by providing thorough, consistent guidance to the public, but first we must prioritize everyone’s well-being.”
Fire officials have yet to deem some burned out locations safe to enter particularly in the Ruidoso area where the McBride Fire remains uncontained. Until it is safe to assess the damage, residents, visitors, and business owners can help move the process along by taking the following steps.
- First, call your insurance company and let them know you have been affected by a disaster.
- Next, fill out an intake assessment form. The form can be found on the DHSEM website or by calling 1-800-432-2080 and pressing #4 to connect with someone who will assist you with the form. Someone will return your call within 24 hours or less. (Your information is secure and will only be used for disaster recovery purposes. Providing this information does not mean direct federal assistance will occur.)
The information will allow emergency management teams to prepare for damage assessments by helping direct them to the hardest hit areas. The extent of the damage is determined by following certain federal criteria mandated by legislation. The assessment will determine if the damage meets the level for a state disaster declaration. The damage assessment process could take a several days.
NMDHSEM has also launched a wildfires subpage on the website, and can be found here: 2022 Wildfires | NM Department of Homeland Security & Emergency (nmdhsem.org) This subpage contains the latest information regarding active wildfires, as well as resources for recovery assistance.
DHSEM works to protect the people of New Mexico and the nation through a comprehensive and coordinated program of mitigating hazards, preparing for emergencies, preventing attacks, and recovering from disasters. The New Mexico State Fire Marshal’s Office is part of DHSEM beginning on July 1, 2021