Author

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. Along the way, he's won several state and national awards for his reporting, including for an exposé on a cult-like Alcoholics Anonymous group and a feature on an Upstate New York militia member who died of COVID-19. He's thrilled to be back home in New Mexico, where he works to tell stories that resonate and make an impact.

MLG asks feds to consider ‘extreme’ scenarios ahead of every prescribed burn

By: - May 24, 2022

As the United States Forest Service conducts a review of its prescribed burn protocol over the next several months, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s office is calling for several big changes to the way federal agencies determine whether a burn is a good idea.  The changes the governor seeks are generally aimed at ensuring federal agencies […]

New Mexico begins issuing rebate checks — here’s how to get the money even if you don’t file taxes

By: - May 20, 2022

A state agency has released more information about how people who don’t file an income tax return can still receive up to $1,000 in economic relief payments. The Legislature agreed earlier this year to get money back to residents to offset the rising price of gas, groceries and other essentials. The payments are $500 to […]

Cerro Grande fire victims were ‘fully compensated’ decades ago. NM gov seeks the same in 2022.

By: - May 19, 2022

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and others are calling for additional funding to compensate those who lost their homes or livelihoods due to the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon wildfire, preferably an aid package that resembles the one the federal government provided in the aftermath of the Cerro Grande fire 22 years ago.  “It’s not like we haven’t […]

State to provide rent money to tenants affected by wildfires

By: - May 19, 2022

A state agency announced Wednesday that it would provide up to three months of rent and hotel stays for those who lose their rented homes or apartments in ongoing wildfires in New Mexico. The Department of Finance and Administration said tenants who lost their housing due to the fires should apply for assistance on the […]

Echoes of the Cerro Grande wildfire 22 years later

By: - May 18, 2022

Amid an extended drought and a busy wildfire season, a National Park Service crew lined up to light a prescribed burn in dense forest in early May, 2000. The windy season. A big mistake. The blaze grew out of control quickly and thanks to a delay in suppression, limited resources and merciless weather, became the […]

As feds stay quiet on state’s largest-ever wildfire, theories circulate about its cause

By: - May 17, 2022

The United States Forest Service on Monday again declined to provide any more details about the prescribed burn that caused the Hermits Peak fire or the sequence of events leading to the nearby Calf Canyon fire, saying it would be “premature” due to ongoing investigations.  Meanwhile, Twitter chatter is alight, and state leaders are asking, […]

Hot takes: NM pols point fingers at the feds for megafire

By: - May 16, 2022

U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján and co-sponsors of an act to compensate victims of what will soon become the biggest fire in New Mexico history would prefer you call the blaze simply the “Hermits Peak fire.” The “Hermits Peak Fire Assistance Act,” introduced this week, seeks to compensate victims of the out-of-control fire. The blaze […]

Agriculture department offers help to those who lost livestock, pasture, trees or bees in NM wildfires

By: - May 12, 2022

The United States Agriculture Department recently released a list of resources to farmers, growers and ranchers affected by the New Mexico wildfires.  Biden approves disaster funding for NM wildfires: Here’s how to apply and what it covers About 3,800 adults who live within the Santa Fe National Forest boundaries are employed on farms, according to […]

Governor promises a temporary halt to prescribed burns while wildfires rage in New Mexico

By: - May 10, 2022

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said Tuesday that it was “negligent” for the United States Forest Service to ignite a prescribed burn in early April, and that she has received assurances that there will be no more prescribed burns in New Mexico in the short-term — at least not while fires continue to rage […]

Forecasts showed 25 mph gusts on the day U.S. Forest Service ignited prescribed burn

By: - May 10, 2022

The Santa Fe National Forest team that ignited a prescribed burn last month reviewed forecasts beforehand that predicted wind gusts up to 25 mph and very low humidity, according to National Weather Service records.  U.S. forestry staff lit the fire anyway and lost control of their burn. It went on to become the Hermits Peak […]

U.S. Forest Service defends prescribed burn that caused Hermits Peak fire

By: - May 9, 2022

A United States Forest Service spokesperson said the prescribed burn that got out of control to become the Hermits Peak fire is a rare occurrence, and she defended prescribed burns as a necessary risk required to protect the nation’s forests.  The service is also conducting a “review” of Las Dispensas prescribed burn April 6 south […]

Biden approves disaster funding for NM wildfires: Here’s how to apply and what it covers

By: - May 5, 2022

President Joe Biden declared the ongoing wildfires in New Mexico a major disaster yesterday, and the categorization releases federal funding for people who’ve been impacted in recent weeks. The money comes after a request from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who said such funding could be nearly “unlimited” depending on the hardships faced by those in […]