Gov. Lujan Grisham welcomes President Biden’s announcement of full federal coverage of wildfire recovery costs during visit to Santa Fe
SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Saturday applauded President Joe Biden’s announcement that the federal government will cover 100% of costs for emergency protective work and debris removal under New Mexico’s existing wildfire disaster declaration.
The announcement came during the president’s visit to New Mexico and at the request of Gov. Lujan Grisham.
President Biden approved the governor’s request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration in May for counties affected by wildfires. However, the declaration required a 75% federal/25% state cost share for efforts related to emergency recovery.
The president’s announcement today removes that cost share for efforts around emergency protective measures and debris removal, ensuring that New Mexico has no financial limitations related to immediate lifesaving and life sustaining operations related to the ongoing wildfires.
“I appreciate the president not only visiting our state today, but for committing to the people of New Mexico that the federal government will be here for the long-haul to help families and communities recover,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “It is the duty and the responsibility of the federal government to step in, and it was clear today that President Biden understands that. We will continue to work closely with the administration as we rebuild and find better ways to manage our forests together going forward.”
Following the briefing, the governor joined President Biden to thank first responders in the state’s Emergency Operations Center and meet with affected families.
The two largest wildfires in New Mexico history continue to burn in northern New Mexico and the Gila National Forest, the largest being the Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon Fire, which was caused by a U.S. Forest Service prescribed burn.