EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — A bipartisan bill to help with recovery efforts from last year’s Black Fire that devastated parts of Southern New Mexico has cleared the New Mexico state Senate.
The bill, Senate Bill 334, appropriates $3 million to support recovery efforts from the Black Fire.
The bill was sponsored by Sens. Crystal Diamond, R-Elephant Butte, and Siah Correa Hemphill, D-Silver City. It passed the Senate unanimously.
“The Black Fire will have generational impacts on our families in southwest New Mexico,” Diamond said. “My communities desperately need relief to rebuild from this historic fire and this funding will help ensure that our residents, farmers, ranchers and producers are not left out to dry.”
“This bill will fast-track $3 million in emergency funds to Sierra, Hidalgo and Grant counties,” added Correa Hemphill. “With over 1,000 farms and 3 million acres of agricultural land, members of these communities play a crucial role in the New Mexico economy, and it is vital that we do all we can to get these communities back on their feet.”
The Black Fire was the second largest fire in modern New Mexico history, having burned more than 325,000 acres. The fire destroyed two structures and threatened an additional 51 structures nearby.
The fire was determined to be human-caused. Much of it was in the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Area.