The cause of New Mexico’s largest wildfire is revealed; Sec. Vilsack orders Forest Service to protect forestland

We are learning more about the cause of the largest fire in New Mexico state history.

The Hermits Peak Fire has burned more than 340,000 acres since it started in April. It is now 72 percent contained.

A review of the fire around a Forest Service prescribed burn did contribute to the blaze, but it was done according to current standards and policy.

The Forest Service blames multiple years of drought, a limited snowpack, with less moisture than normal, coupled with a pileup of fuels for the rapid spread of the fire.

Meanwhile, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack has just issued a memorandum directing the USDA Forest Service to take immediate actions to build carbon stewardship and climate resilience in our nation’s forests.

He says this is in response to drought and wildfire that are threatening forests to a degree that they cannot regenerate on their own.


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