In April this year, the US forestry administration conducted two planned fires in New Mexico (referring to burning natural combustibles with low-intensity fire under human control to achieve the effect of fire prevention, forest cultivation and insect reduction). Unexpectedly, because of the dry climate and strong winds, the fires in garf Canyon and hermit peak became one and out of control. According to CNN on the 11th, the largest mountain fire in the history of the state has destroyed hundreds of houses and damaged an area of more than 1200 square kilometers.
Since the beginning of this year, the burned area in New Mexico has exceeded 3300 square kilometers, about four times the average annual damage area in the state. Tens of thousands of affected residents have left their homes. The local fragile economy, which used to rely on cutting firewood and raising hay to make a living, has been dealt a fatal blow. It is reported that the poverty rate in the affected areas in the state is twice the average level in the United States. Local people arelano lost hundreds of hectares of forest land due to the mountain fire. She said, "this is not a natural disaster. It is a mess caused by the government that needs several generations to recover." So far, FEMA has provided more than $3million to more than 900 families. However, the maximum compensation for each destroyed house is about 40000 US dollars, which is far from enough to make up for the loss of hundreds of thousands of US dollars worth of agricultural equipment stored in the house.
CNN said that it was estimated that by the end of May, the total expenditure on fire fighting had exceeded 132million US dollars, and an additional 5million US dollars would be spent every day. The U.S. authorities sent about 3000 firefighters to fight the mountain fire, but it was a drop in the bucket. American media worry that the fire may destroy most of the forests in the southwest of the United States.
On the 11th, US President Joe Biden visited New Mexico and admitted the mistakes of the federal government. Previously, Biden approved a major disaster statement to provide fire response support to New Mexico, but the statement showed that the federal government only bears 75% of the cost, and the rest is borne by the state government. New Mexico Governor Grisham insisted that the fire was entirely caused by the mistakes of the forestry administration, so the federal government should bear the full cost. Under the denouncement of Grisham, other lawmakers and the public, Biden finally announced that the federal government would bear all the costs.
As a subsidiary of the Department of agriculture, the US forestry administration is responsible for the management of national forests and grasslands across the United States, and carries out a series of planned burning activities every year. However, this mountain fire is not the first time that the forestry bureau has caused an accident. In January this year, the Forestry Bureau triggered a mountain fire in New Mexico that lasted for one and a half months.