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USDA will fully cover debris removal and watershed repair caused by NM’s wildfires

Ruidoso McBride Fire
via McBride fire Facebook Page
The McBride fire in Ruidoso, which burned more than 200 homes

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced Wednesday it will foot 100% of the costs for debris removal and watershed repair through the Emergency Watershed Protection Program for areas scorched by New Mexico’s historic wildfires.

The program is meant to help communities deal with dangerous situations like flooding or windstorms after a disaster happens.

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich said the funding will help New Mexicans immensely, but there’s lots more work to be done.

“We’re seeing the costly toll that the climate crisis and these record-breaking fires are having on our communities, our forests, and in our watersheds,” Heinrich said.

This announcement comes on the heels of President Joe Biden’s visit to New Mexico on Saturday, where he promised boosts in funding to aid the state, including $22 million in flood mitigation.

The waiver will cover damages from the Cooks Peak, Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak, McBride, and Nogal Fires.

Bryce Dix is our new local host for NPR's Morning Edition.
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