People Who Lost Loved Ones In The Hermit’s Peak Calf Canyon Fire Get Together On The Second Anniversary Of The Fire

People Who Lost Loved Ones In The Hermit's Peak Calf Canyon Fire Get Together On The Second Anniversary Of The Fire

ABQ, New Mexico —
It’s been two years since the worst fire in New Mexico history happened on April 6.

Victims came to a roundtable meeting on Saturday, led by Nella Domenici, the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate seat in New Mexico, to talk about how they could get paid more quickly.

The U.S. Forest Service lost control of a planned burn at Hermit’s Peak, which is where the fire began. Three days later, there was another fire in Calf Canyon because a pile burn that the Forest Service had set three months before wasn’t put out properly. Later that year, after more than three weeks, those two fires joined together and burned over 300,000 acres, ruining at least 900 buildings, including several homes.

Even though no one died, some of the victims say they are still feeling the effects. Ben Trujillo is one of many people who lost their land in the big fire. He talks about the first time he went back.

“I went up to them, got down on my knees, and cried.” What did happen to my stuff? Trump said, “My family and I worked so hard to buy this land, and now it’s gone.”

He said that the land he lost was meant for his niece.

“I could see and understand if it would have been an act of God, but this was done through negligence of U.S. forestry,” Trujillo added.

He and other people have been waiting for two years for money to be paid for these losses.

“I’d like to see more done, especially the people that lost homes, that haven’t been compensated for the loss of their homes that should be first,” said Bartley.

“It’s a disappointment of the federal government, the New Mexico state government and I’m hugely disappointed in our state leaders,” he said. “No one should be treated this way it doesn’t have to take this long.”

A lot of the victims we’ve talked to say they made their claims months ago, and some say they were told not to hire a lawyer.

“I hope our government, our representatives and our senators will put these people accountable for our loss and compensate us for what they’ve done to us,” Trujillo added.

Martin Heinrich is running for a place in the Senate, and Domenici wants it.

In a statement, the senator said, “The federal government still hasn’t given many New Mexicans the help and money they need to fully recover after two years.” This is just not okay.”

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