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Officials are surveying damage from fires in New Mexico, as blazes continue to burn.
On Thursday, the U.S. Forest Service said that the Hermits Peak and Cal Canyon fires had spread over 318,599 acres and were 65% contained.
More than 2,670 personnel were working on the wildfires – caused by prescribed burns – with temperatures rising there and in the western U.S.
Several hundred homes have been destroyed in the fire, although that number is expected to increase as inspections are ongoing.
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham met with homeowners and local officials in communities impacted by wildfire this week.
She toured the damage in Mora County on Tuesday.
“The destruction caused by these fires is devastating, in both the physical damage they have caused and the ways they have forever disrupted and altered New Mexicans’ lives,” said Lujan Grisham. “Today in Mora County I saw firsthand the irrevocable harm that has been caused, with historic homes and livelihoods lost to the flames. But I was also reminded of New Mexicans’ resiliency – I saw neighbors helping neighbors with that same compassion that New Mexicans always show toward one another in tough times. Together, we will rebuild.”
In a statement, the governor’s office said she learned more about where state, federal and local recovery aid is most effective, as well as where gaps remain.
On Saturday, President Biden will meet with the governor to discuss the issue.
The governor has called for the federal government to cover the entirety of recovery costs.
It is still early in the nation’s fire season, and the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) says there are now 4,200 wildland firefighters and support personnel assigned to incidents.
On Wednesday, the number of acres burned this year surpassed the 2 million mark – the second most year-to-date acres burned over the past decade.