BY THE HERMIT'S PEAK/CALF CANYON FIRE?
Robins Cloud LLP is considered a nationwide leader in wildfire lawsuits and litigation. Throughout the years, we have provided legal support and representation for victims of wildfires started by corporate and government negligence, with a focus on California wildfire lawsuits.
The Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon fire is the largest wildfire ever recorded in New Mexico history. It has burned more than 340,000 acres in the four months that it has raged in the northern parts of the state. Currently, at least 900 structures have been confirmed as destroyed by this blaze. Anyone who has suffered property loss should already be considering how to take action to pursue justice and compensation.
Robins Cloud LLP is one of the country’s leading wildfire litigation law firms. We have worked on many of the most significant California fire lawsuits. Now, we are turning our attention to New Mexico, where we hope to help as many residents there as possible get the compensation they need after losing their properties and livelihoods to the Hermits Peak wildfire. If this has happened to you, please contact us immediately.
How Did Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Fire Start?
The Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon wildfires in New Mexico started as two separate prescribed or controlled burns in April 2022. As winds picked up shortly after the fires were started, the blazes quickly grew out of control before merging. In about a month, the newly named Hermits Peak fire had already burned approximately 288,000 acres.
Residents expressed anger and disappointment over the decision to start controlled burns in the area during what most locals know to be the windiest part of the year. It seems that their concerns were justified now that the Hermits Peak fire has burned so many acres, destroyed so many structures, and only just reached 100% containment in late August. At this point, though, no serious injuries or fatalities have been reported in relation to the fires.
Property Damage Claims & Suppression Repair Forms
The Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF), part of the New Mexico Forestry Department, is currently accepting property damage reports from the public who live in areas affected by the Hermit Peak wildfire. The forms will be sorted into a queue that prioritizes them by need or the extent of the damage reported.
Property owners can use the SFNF damage forms to request repairs for:
- Wildfire damage: The current estimate is that at least 900 to 1,000 structures have been destroyed or badly damaged by the Hermits Peak fire. The property damage forms that can be filed with SFNF could be the first opportunity to get a final official number. The forms will also act as the first step toward compensation for many.
- Flooding damage: One of the biggest concerns now that the Hermit Peak fire is contained and soon to be “controlled” is that the ravaged landscape could be prime for flash floods in heavy rains. Some properties may have already been affected by flooding damage as a secondary consequence of the wildfire.
- Fire suppression damage: SFNF has issued Suppression Repair Forms that property owners can use to report any damage that was caused by fire suppression efforts, such as house damage caused by fire suppressant foam and chemicals used by firefighting planes. At this time, it is believed that the majority of the private property damage in this wildfire could have been caused by fire suppression efforts, not the fire itself.
- Ash damage: The thick clouds of ash that billowed out of the Hermit Peak fire for months could have landed on residential and commercial properties in nearby towns and cities. The cost of cleaning the ash and repairing any property damage could be extensive in areas that were impacted the most.
While the SFNF damage report forms are useful, you shouldn’t assume that you will get the repairs and compensation that you need just because you filled one out. Government responses to such repair requests are typically slow and might even reject many of the claims. Robins Cloud LLP can help you pursue compensation using the best available methods, which could include using a damage repair form, an individual property damage claim, or both. In any situation, we are here to guide you and be your voice if there are any objections or complications along the way.
Call Today for Reliable Legal Counsel
Don’t add to your frustrations by trying to get the New Mexico government to pay you for the property damage caused by the wildfire. Instead, give yourself peace of mind by leaving everything up to our Hermits Peak wildfire attorneys. We can navigate this difficult situation and find the right way for you to pursue compensation, even if that means bringing a lawsuit against the SFNF or any other parties liable for the prescribed fires that raged out of control. Reach out to us now if your property was damaged or destroyed by the Hermits Peak wildfire.
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Represented over 100 families & businesses devastated by wildfires
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Robins Cloud LLP is unique in that all our attorneys worked at large, corporate law firms before joining our team. That means we have experience fighting high-profile claims against big defendants. At the same time, we are a client-focused firm that limits its caseload so we can give our full attention to those who need our help. Working with Robins Cloud LLP gives you big-firm resources with a small-firm feel.