NEW MEXICO (KTSM) – President Joe Biden signed Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration, according to a press release sent by Gov. Lujan Grisham’s office on Wednesday, May 4.

Gov. Lujan Grisham announced on Wednesday that President Biden has approved her request to declare a major disaster in New Mexico due to multiple wildfires burning around the state, unlocking millions of dollars in relief for affected individuals and communities.

“New Mexicans cannot wait for these fires to be extinguished to receive relief. That’s why I expedited the state’s request for emergency aid for individuals, and I’m grateful to President Biden for recognizing the urgency of the situation in our state.”

Lujan Grisham, Governor of New Mexico

While requesting a Presidential Disaster Declaration is typically a lengthy process that often only begins weeks after the conclusion of a natural disaster, the governor and state officials worked around the clock with federal authorities to expedite the filing process for a Presidential Disaster Declaration. By using science and data to show how these fires have dramatically worsened by a statewide windstorm, the state was able to more quickly meet the financial threshold for damages in order to make federal assistance available to New Mexicans.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by registering online at http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

For local and breaking news, sports, weather alerts, videos, and more, download the FREE KTSM 9 News App from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.