Wildfire recovery progress in Hermit’s Peak Calf Canyon receives praise

October 12, 2023

A significant development in the recovery efforts from the Hermit’s Peak Calf Canyon wildfire has been witnessed in the past year.

On the anniversary of the tragic event, we reflect on the positive strides made for the affected community.

One year of the Hermit’s Peak Calf Canyon Fire Assistance Act

A year ago President Biden gave his signature to the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Fire Assistance Act.

This Act aimed to compensate a spectrum of affected parties ranging from individuals and businesses to nonprofits, governments, and Tribal Nations.

Losses incurred not only due to the fire but also the subsequent floods were addressed through this Act.

Wildfire recovery: Claims Office plays pivotal role

Establishing the Claims Office became a cornerstone in this recovery journey.

This office has not only set up public-facing spaces but also invested in critical frameworks like regulations, policies, procedures, and tech advancements.

The end goal was clear: streamline the processing of claims in a consistent and fair manner.

Notably, public feedback from those directly affected and other stakeholders was vital. It profoundly influenced the final shape of many of these processes.

The Claims Office, dedicated to serving New Mexicans affected by the wildfire, states their mission: ensuring those affected get adequate compensation to restore and rebuild their lives.

By September 29, 2023, the Claims Office announced a commendable achievement: they have disbursed over $84 million, benefiting over 327 claimants.

Collaboration with federal entities such as the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), and the US Small Business Administration (SBA) has been crucial in these efforts.

“Through your direct feedback, we are able to continue to process claims as quickly as possible and improve the claims process,” they shared.

“While we pause to celebrate and recognize this milestone on the road to recovery, we also want to take a moment to recognize and celebrate the resilience and tenacity of the individuals and communities we are serving,” said Angela Gladwell, the Director of the Claims Office.

To stay updated, individuals are encouraged to visit the official website or their Facebook page.

FSJA Comment

The Hermit’s Peak Calf Canyon wildfire was a tragic event, but the collective effort of communities, federal entities, and dedicated offices like the Claims Office in the recovery journey deserves acknowledgment.

Their dedication to not only provide necessary compensation but also ensure a transparent and efficient claims process showcases a commitment to restoring a sense of normalcy to the affected individuals and communities.

The collaborative approach and openness to public feedback have been instrumental in this recovery journey.

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