President Joe Biden has approved a disaster declaration for New Mexico due to a wildfire that’s been burning for weeks in the northern part of the state. Fire officials say the The Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire is just 20% contained, but has burned more than 160,000 acres. The blaze began about a month ago and is the result of two wildfires merging into one. The Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire is the largest presently burning in the United States.
Biden’s approval of the federal disaster declaration makes federal funds available for thousands of people affected in New Mexico’s Colfax, Lincoln, Mora, San Miguel and Valencia counties. The White House said the assistance includes grants for temporary housing and home repairs, and low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses. It also includes other programs to help people and businesses recover.
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a statement: “New Mexicans cannot wait for these fires to be extinguished to receive relief. That’s why I expedited the state’s request for emergency aid for individuals, and I’m grateful to President Biden for recognizing the urgency of the situation in our state.”
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