Wildfires have devastated New Mexico for what feels like an eternity now.
It has been difficult for many families: Not only did a lot of people lose their homes; they also lost their livelihoods in many cases—which was a cruel occurrence due to the fact that so many were already struggling financially as a result of the pandemic.
As of May 20, 2022, there will be a 90-day pause on prescribed burns.
"Officials put a 90-day pause on prescribed burns across the country on Friday as crews continue to fight a massive blaze – partially started as a prescribed burn – that has torched hundreds of homes and sent thousands fleeing northeastern New Mexico." —Matthew Reisen and Dan Boyd
State officials have been voicing their frustrations because the U.S. Forest Service continued with prescribed burns despite the unfavorable conditions.
“It is critical that federal agencies update and modernize these practices in response to a changing climate, as what used to be considered extreme conditions are now much more common. The situation unfolding in New Mexico right now demonstrates without a doubt the grave consequences of neglecting to do so.” —Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham
The U.S. Forest Service has taken the feedback into account and is learning from the disaster that occurred.
The Forest Service released a statement Friday saying the agency has initiated a Declared Wildfire Review of the “decisions made and conditions on the ground” prior to the Las Dispensas prescribed fire which led to the Hermits Peak Fire. This review is being conducted to glean lessons learned and help improve the prescribed fire program,” the statement read. —Matthew Reisen and Dan Boyd
Hopefully, this will prevent any further damage.