The Marzulla Law team is working hard to complete and submit proof of loss forms documenting claims for property owners whose homes and property were destroyed and damaged by the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Fires in the Santa Fe National Forest. 

The 2022 Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Fire is considered one of the largest and most destructive wildfires in New Mexico’s history. The fire burned 341,471 acres between early April and late June in 2022 in the southern Sangre de Cristo Mountains (in San Miguel, Mora, and Taos counties) and destroyed at least 903 structures, including several hundred homes. 

We originally filed a taking case for the individuals. Then Congress stepped in and passed legislation that set up an administrative process, which Congress also funded, designed to provide an expedited process for these individuals recovering for their fire losses.

The Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire burns near Highway 518 in New Mexico on April 29, 2022. Source: Will Harris

The fire started as two separate fires: the Hermit’s Peak Fire, which began on April 6, 2022 when the U.S. Forest Service lost control of a prescribed burn, and the Calf Canyon Fire, which began on April 9, 2022 when an improperly extinguished Forest Service burn rekindled. The two fires later combined to become New Mexico’s largest-ever fire until it was contained in late August. 

The final footprint of the wildfire spanned approximately 45 miles north to south, and around 20 miles from west to east. 

On September 30, 2022, the President signed the Hermit’s Peak Fire Assistance Act that provided $2.5 billion to compensate individuals affected by the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Fire. An additional $1.45 billion was included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, that passed Dec. 29, 2022, providing $3.95 billion to fund expected costs under the Act. Eligible losses including personal injury, loss of property, business loss or financial loss.

For more information, contact Nancie Marzulla.