Governor signs emergency declaration for Sierra County
Declaration provides funding and other resources to support efforts related to wildfires
SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency in Sierra County due to the ongoing Black Fire, making available additional funding and state resources for affected communities.
The emergency declaration comes as the fire has grown to become the second largest wildfire in New Mexico history and is now burning beyond the boundaries of the Gila National Forest, affecting local communities and requiring evacuations.
“As the Black Fire continues to grow, it now threatens additional communities in Sierra County. Ranchers, farmers, producers and residents of Sierra County have been directly affected along with critical watersheds that flow into the Rio Grande Valley. Monsoon season is around the corner and Sierra County is anticipating flooding events that will impact private property and homes, agricultural lands, irrigation systems, roadways, and infrastructure. Sierra County would like to extend our appreciation to DHSEM and Governor Lujan Grisham and her staff for responding to our request for emergency declaration funds. Our goal is to lessen the recovery time and prevent additional damages to our businesses and communities,” said Ryan Williams, Sierra County Emergency Manager.
The executive order provides $750,000 for the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to assist the county with emergency measures, help prevent additional damages, repair public infrastructure, and lessen the overall recovery time. The executive order also authorizes the Adjutant General to activate the New Mexico National Guard for necessary support, in addition to directing all cabinet departments and agencies to assist with the state’s response.