Patrick Lohmann

Patrick Lohmann

Patrick Lohmann has been a reporter since 2007, when he wrote stories for $15 apiece at a now-defunct tabloid in Gallup, his hometown. Since then, he's worked at UNM's Daily Lobo, the Albuquerque Journal and the Syracuse Post-Standard.

State’s emergency department director resigns, NM National Guard moves in, letter says

By: and - September 6, 2023

The secretary for the state’s emergency management department told staff this week that he is resigning and that the general for the New Mexico National Guard will soon oversee the department, according to a letter written by the outgoing secretary and obtained by Source New Mexico. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham appointed David Dye as secretary […]

FEMA finalizes rules for paying nearly $4 billion to Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire victims 

By: and - August 29, 2023

Finalized rules governing how victims of the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon fire can file claims for damages went into effect Tuesday, providing a roadmap for how compensation will be paid to victims of a wildfire started by the United States Forest Service last spring. One of the biggest questions the new regulations answer is how victims […]

FEMA has so far paid out less than 1% of what Congress allocated for victims of NM wildfire

By: and - July 17, 2023

This article was produced for ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network in partnership with Source New Mexico. Sign up for Dispatches to get stories like this one as soon as they are published.  A couple months after two planned fires escaped to become the largest wildfire in New Mexico history, President Joe Biden promised to “fully compensate […]

‘Our communities cannot wait any longer’: NM delegation rips FEMA on delays in fire payments

By: - May 10, 2023

Three members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation on Wednesday sent a letter to top officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, criticizing the agency for delays in distributing several billion dollars to those who are still struggling to recover from the biggest wildfire in state history. FEMA has opened field offices and is reaching out […]

The federal government accidentally burned down their houses, then made it hard to come home

By: - April 24, 2023

The wildfire had already burned 160 square miles of northern New Mexico forest last spring when it suddenly surged ahead, reducing to ash the cozy cabin David Martinez had built for himself more than two decades earlier. Martinez, now 64, had fled days before, one of 15,000 people ordered to leave as the fire spread. […]

Chiminea at burned cabin near Rociada, after the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire

Were you affected by the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire? We want to hear from you.

By: - March 2, 2023

Eric Maestas didn’t have much time to spare on an afternoon in April when he stepped out of the old Memorial Middle School gymnasium with an armful of food, water and an extra pair of slippers.  The supplies were for his parents, waiting for him at a nearby campground. They’d been evacuated from their Cleveland […]

Another $1.45 billion for northern NM fire victims clears Congress as part of the omnibus bill

By: - December 23, 2022

More than $1 billion in additional compensation for victims of the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire was approved by the United States House of Representatives as part of a 4,100-page spending package that’s heading to President Joe Biden’s desk.  The $1.45 billion comes on top of $2.5 billion passed earlier this year to pay property damage […]

How Las Vegas got $140 million in pending congressional bill to save its drinking water 

By: - December 22, 2022

The northern New Mexico town of Las Vegas plans to use $140 million included in the $1.7 trillion Congressional spending plan to replace and reconfigure its drinking water system imperiled after a huge wildfire this year.  The money, if Congress passes the spending bill this week, would go toward upgrading the city’s water treatment facility, […]

$1.45 billion more likely coming to victims of Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire

By: - December 20, 2022

Congress overnight announced $1.45 billion more for a compensation program for victims of New Mexico’s biggest-ever wildfire, bringing the total that could be approved for the blaze to $3.95 billion.  The omnibus spending package still has to be approved in both chambers, and lawmakers are up against a clock, trying to get it done by […]

FEMA hints it might lift 25% cap on tree reimbursements for northern NM fire victims

By: - December 19, 2022

Officials at the Federal Emergency Management Agency are still finalizing rules and accepting public comments on how it will spend about $2.5 billion on victims of the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire. But the director of the compensation program on Thursday, in a public meeting in Las Vegas, N.M., suggested one frequently criticized draft rule would […]

Barbara Vigil, CYFD secretary

To fill empty social work positions, CYFD secretary requests a bigger budget

By: - December 15, 2022

The state’s child welfare department is in need of more social workers to ease caseloads, reduce burnout and better help kids in a state with some of the worst outcomes for children, the department secretary told lawmakers Wednesday.  The New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department has 509 vacancies across six offices, according to a […]

Sen. Ben Ray Luján speaks at the Congreso de las Acequias

Sen. Ben Ray Luján: Billions for northern NM fire victims still up in the air in DC

By: - December 13, 2022

U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján said negotiations are fluctuating daily on a congressional spending bill that includes almost $3 billion more for victims of the biggest fire in New Mexico history. This funding would come in addition to the $2.5 billion Congress voted to send to the state earlier this year. Luján, a Democrat, told […]