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FEMA Increases Compensation For Lost Trees From Hermit's Peak/Calf Canyon Blaze

Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon Claims Office
Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon Claims Office

FEMA’s Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Claim Officehas published the final regulations for its Fire Assistance Act.

The biggest change will be the cap of 25% on reforestation and revegetation costs has been increased to 100%.

  FEMA officials say the office will compensate lost trees using a per-acre value based on several best practices in forest restoration.

Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Claims Office Director Angela Gladwell says they will soon begin processing claims related to private losses of trees.

“Compensation varies based on burn severity with higher rates for more severely burned land,” she said. “Compensation rates for reforestation and revegetation will vary from $45-hundred an acre to over $9,000 an acre depending on burn severity of the property. The rates were derived from costs specific to the commercial market and the areas of the fires and the rate structure that the claims office has developed substantially exceeds those paid following the Cerro Grande Fire even after adjusting for inflation.”

The Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon fire started in April of 2022, when a prescribed fire by the US Forest Service got out of hand due to high winds. The blaze was the largest in state history and destroyed more than 600 homes and burned over 500 square miles. 

Gladwell says FEMA has so far dispensed $37 million to compensate for fire damage and expects to pay $1 billion by 2025.  

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