WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Congressman Ben Ray Luján announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved a request for a Fire Management Assistance Grant declaration for the Ute Park Fire burning in Colfax County. The Fire Management Assistance Grant Program allows for the “mitigation, management, and control” of fires burning on publicly or privately-owned forest or grasslands which threaten such destruction as would constitute a major disaster.
"We all share a deep appreciation for the local and federal partners working on the ground right now in Colfax County who are putting their lives on the line to keep New Mexicans safe. Residents in the area should continue to follow announcements from officials about the Ute Park Fire and evacuations,” said Udall, Heinrich, and Luján. “Securing this critical funding will ensure that New Mexico has the resources it needs to protect families and communities. We are grateful that FEMA recognized the urgency of this situation and prioritized these badly-needed resources.”
Since it began yesterday, the Ute Fire was threatening hundreds of homes and has burned thousands of acres of state and private lands in Colfax County. The fire was also threatening buildings, infrastructure, utilities, watersheds, businesses, critical habitat areas, cultural resources, and the State Forestry District Office. Mandatory and voluntary evacuations have taken place. The fire is zero percent contained. Additional updates will be posted for the duration of the fire at NMFireInfo.com
Approval of the Fire Management Assistance Grant triggers assistance for several categories of aid including: costs for equipment and supplies; costs for emergency work (evacuations and sheltering, police barricading and traffic control, arson investigation); as well costs for field camps and meals.