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Nella Domenici Meets With Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon Fire Victims On 2-Year Anniversary


April 8, 2024

MORA, NM—On the two-year anniversary of the start of the Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon fire, Nella Domenici, candidate for U.S. Senate, met with victims and others impacted by the fire which was a U.S. Forest Service prescribed burn that quickly turned into the state’s largest wildfire. Saturday, April 6, 2024, marked the 2-year anniversary of the start of the Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon fire.

Read more about it and hear from Nella in KOAT's coverage.

Nella told the crowd of almost 60 people that one of the first things she did after declaring her candidacy was to write to the governor asking to work with her on a bipartisan basis to figure out a way to get the victims the funds they need to rebuild their lives.  


“A business leader knows how to manage its resources to effectively deliver for its customers. And an impactful U.S. Senator knows how to make a federal agency perform for the benefit of her constituents,” said Nella Domenici. “I’ve done that in business and I will do it as New Mexico’s U.S. Senator.”  

Nella continued: “The victims should expect this from their leaders, but the current set of elected officials have failed. I don’t want to wait until I am elected to try and figure out a better way to deal with this tragic situation. My father was a “do-er” when it came to the Cerro Grande fire, a similarly federally caused wildfire in Los Alamos.  I want to do the same.”  

She outlined several options including her proposal.


A survey was taken at the end of the two-hour meeting. 75 percent of the participants preferred Nella’s proposal for the governor and the legislature to pass legislation that provides advance payments or zero interest loans to victims for 80 percent of their claims. The state either negotiates with FEMA or contracts with a firm that specializes in fire claims to negotiate with FEMA. The state would then recoup the advanced funds from FEMA. Anything recouped above 80% would also go to the victims. This legislation could be passed in the next month or two during the Special Session and people could finally start getting paid quickly.


After hearing from people who had lost everything in the fire, Nella summed it up, “it is obvious that FEMA’s right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.” 85% of the meeting participants gave FEMA a failing grade.


Nella met with families who lost everything on land that had been in their families for generations. Attendees included volunteer fire fighters, Mayordomos, the ditch overseers, several Acequias, representatives of various water associations, ranchers, subcontractors, soil experts, Christmas tree farmers, small businesspeople and people who have no access to their property because of washed out roads.  


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