FEMA opens claims offices to help compensate northern NM fire victims

By: - April 27, 2023 4:00 am

FEMA workers stationed along a road at a disaster recovery center in Glorieta, following the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire in late May. (Photo by Bright Quashie for Source NM)

An office for people seeking compensation for damage caused by the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire is now open. 

It took about seven months to get the office running, a response by the federal government that is at fault for New Mexico’s largest wildfire and, by law, intends to send billions of dollars in financial aid to northern New Mexicans.


There are three locations in Mora, Las Vegas and Santa Fe, N.M. The locations operate Monday-Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Mora Claims Office

Mora County Courthouse

1 Courthouse Drive

Mora, NM 87732

Las Vegas Claims Office (temporary location)

366 Luna Drive, Las Vegas

Las Vegas, NM 87701

General Studies Building, Room 109 (Luna Community College)

Santa Fe Claims Office

1711 Llano Street, Suite E

Santa Fe, NM 87505

The offices are meant to help fire victims understand the federal claims process to get aid that was appropriated by Congress in 2022. The federal government accepted responsibility for starting the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire and is paying for the damage it caused.

It took over half a year for FEMA to set up the claims offices. The offices were supposed to open around late March or early April 2023, according to FEMA.

A congressional act in September 2022 authorized the creation of the offices, and the federal agency started hiring efforts in December 2022.


The hotline is open Monday through Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.: 505-995-7133

Before the offices were set up, FEMA launched a hotline in March 2023 intended to get help to victims. The federal agency published the wrong number before fixing it a few hours later.

Local community members are working at the claims offices to meet unique community needs, according to FEMA. The agency has had issues helping the largely Hispanic, rural communities come back home after the fire.

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Megan Gleason
Megan Gleason

Megan Gleason is a journalist based in Albuquerque. She recently graduated from the University of New Mexico, where she served as the editor-in-chief of the Daily Lobo. Other work has appeared under the New Mexico Press Association as well as in the Independent, Gallup Sun and Silver City Daily Press.