Federal Government Opens Disaster Recovery Center to Ease Claims Process for Fire Victims

MORA COUNTY, NM – The process of recovery from the largest wildfire in state history begins in northern New Mexico. The Federal Government has just opened a Disaster Recovery Center in Mora County – to assist those affected by the Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire.

The center is now open at the VFW station near Highway 518 in Mora, where people can get help applying for federal disaster assistance.

Several agencies like FEMA, the Small Business Administration, and the Red Cross are helping people who suffered losses in the Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire. This is where you can get help filling out disaster assistance applications, uploading documents, and asking questions about the process.

“We have assistance for landlords and tenants and temporary rental assistance, housing reimbursement, and assistance with home repairs,” said Carmen Rodriguez Diaz, FEMA Media Relations Specialist. .

At some point, most of Mora County was evacuated. Now that those evacuation orders have been lifted, we have our first glimpse of the damage caused by the fire. Mora County officials say about 150 structures were destroyed in the county alone.

According to FEMA, homeowners can get help in about a week in some cases if they have all the required documents.

“If the person doesn’t have the documents available, for example, their insurance information – proof that they were living in that house at the time of the fires – they probably don’t have that information, it’s going to take a bit of more time, but we are going to help disaster survivors in this application process,” Rodriguez-Diaz said.

On Wednesday, FEMA said it has already approved more than $2.4 million to help New Mexico residents recover from the wildfires.

The US Small Business Administration is also at the center, offering low-interest loans to help homeowners and businesses rebuild.

“With homeowners, we can lend up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence. For homeowners and renters, we can lend up to $40,000 to replace personal property and that includes cars,” said Cynthia Cowell of the US Small Business Administration.

This recovery center is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. No appointment is necessary, walk-ins are welcome.