FEMA Daily Update 013 – New Mexico Wildfires

Daily Update 022 – New Mexico Wildfires
June 01, 2022

Key Messages

As of June 1, FEMA has approved more than $2.4 million to help New Mexico residents recover from the wildfires and straight-line winds. 843 applicants have been approved for disaster assistance through FEMA’s Individual Housing (IA) Program

The five designated counties for FEMA IA assistance are: Colfax, Lincoln, Mora, San Miguel, and Valencia.

FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) teams and damage assessment inspectors are out in New Mexico communities to help residents get connected with potential assistance.

38 DSA members are currently deployed to the field.

DSA Field Specialists have assisted 905 residents to apply for assistance.

New Mexico residents do not need to wait to return home or to hear from their insurance company to apply for FEMA assistance. Residents should file insurance claims first, and then apply with FEMA.

New Mexico residents can now visit with FEMA and SBA specialists at the VFW Post in Mora County from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday thru Saturday. Residents can get help with their disaster assistance applications, upload documents and get questions answered about federal disaster assistance. 

Types of FEMA Assistance Available

FEMA assistance for the residents of New Mexico affected by the ongoing wildfires includes a variety of programs. Some of the types of assistance currently available include Rental Assistance, Lodging Expense Reimbursement (LER) and Home Repair Assistance.

To learn more details about available programs visit, fema.gov/fact-sheet/types-assistance-available-new-mexican-residents-affected-wildfires

To make it easier to communicate with FEMA, create an online account. You can upload documents and check the status of your application from anywhere with an internet connection.

The fastest way to apply for disaster assistance: visit disasterassistance.gov/

Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362

Residents may call from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. MDT, seven days a week. If you use a relay service, such as a videophone (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA the number for that service. Multilingual operators are available (press 2 for Spanish).

New Mexico residents who received a letter from FEMA saying that the application information provided is incomplete, or that you are ineligible for disaster assistance, have the right to appeal within 60 days of the date on the letter. An appeal letter may change FEMA’s decision. If your request was denied because of missing information, provide the necessary documentation may help you qualify for a grant. If you don’t agree with the amount of the grant, providing receipts or written quotes may allow you to receive a larger grant.

New Mexican residents with uninsured or underinsured losses should apply for FEMA Individual Assistance as soon as possible. FEMA assistance is not the same as insurance and can only provide the basic needs for a home to be safe, sanitary and livable. For more information on covered costs, visit fema.gov/fact-sheet/understanding-what-uninsured-losses-fema-may-cover

FEMA helps applicants keep their spending on track by sending a determination letter stating what the federal disaster funds are for and listing ways the money can be used. Disaster grants are not for regular living expenses and should be spent on items like home repairs and rental assistance. Visit .fema.gov/press-release/20220520/spend-your-fema-grant-wisely-and-only-disaster-related-expenses for more details.

Disaster Recovery Centers

Two Disaster Recovery Centers are open today. They are located at:

Lincoln County


San Miguel County


Eastern New Mexico University (Fixed site)

709 Mechem Dr.
Ruidoso, NM, 88345

Hours of operation:
Monday thru Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Old Memorial Middle School (Fixed site)

947 Legion Road
Las Vegas, NM 87701

Hours of operation:
Monday thru Sunday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.


Mora County




VFW Post 1131

2825 NM Hwy 518 (mile marker 28.5)

Mora, NM 87732

Hours of operation:
Monday thru Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.




Myths and Facts 

FEMA encourages New Mexico residents to ignore myths and rumors about FEMA assistance including:

If you receive assistance from FEMA, the federal government will not take your land. In fact, FEMA grants do not have to be paid back. FEMA will not seize any land or property in return for providing disaster assistance.

While FEMA and the American Red Cross are partners in the response and recovery of the New Mexico wildfires, residents who sign up for assistance with the American Red Cross are NOT also applying for FEMA assistance. All eligible residents living in the five designated counties must also apply with FEMA in order to be eligible for federal disaster assistance.

For more Frequently Asked Questions and Rumors visit: New Mexico Wildfires DR-4652 Frequently Asked Questions and Rumor Control.

To make sure you have the most accurate information about FEMA’s response to the New Mexico wildfires, call 940-898-5454 or email [email protected]The number and email address are for media outlets only. New Mexico residents affected by the ongoing wildfires who need help, should call FEMA’s Helpline at 800-621-3362, visit DisasterAssistance.gov or download the FEMA app.

Fraud and Scams

New Mexico residents should be aware that con artists and criminals may try to obtain money or steal personal information through fraud, scams or identity theft. In some cases, thieves may try to apply with FEMA using names, addresses and Social Security numbers they have stolen from residents affected by a disaster. Keep in mind Federal and local disaster workers do not solicit or accept money.

Don’t trust anyone who offers financial help and then asks for money. Ask to see ID badges. All FEMA representatives carry an identification badge with a photograph. Report scams, fraud and identity-theft by calling FEMA’s toll-free Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721.

Small Business Administration Helping Survivors

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loans are meant for more than just businesses. The SBA loan application holds many benefits for New Mexico residents who apply for federal assistance after the recent wildfires. Residents are encouraged to fill out an SBA application and submit it by July 5, 2022.

If SBA does not approve a loan or approves a small loan that doesn’t cover all your needs, you may be eligible for additional FEMA grant assistance to replace essential household items or meet other disaster-related needs.

SBA loans available for individuals and families as well as businesses.

Do not wait for your insurance claim to settle before applying for SBA disaster loans. While SBA cannot duplicate recovery money you may receive from insurance, FEMA or other sources, we will work with them to make certain there is no duplication of benefits.

SBA customer service representatives are available to meet individually with business owners, homeowners and renters at all FEMA/State Disaster Recovery Centers. SBA has a Business Recovery Center located at:

Lincoln County
Eastern New Mexico University
Ruidoso Branch Community College
709 Mechem Drive
Ruidoso, NM 88345


8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. MST


If you are referred to the US Small Business Administration (SBA) for a low-interest disaster loan, you may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela/s/. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email [email protected] for more information on SBA disaster assistance.

Social Media

NM Department of Homeland Security & Emergency


Other Resources

Those in need of temporary housing, call the New Mexico State Fire Resource Hotline: 800-432-2080, Option #4. You can also find additional up-to-date information the wildfires at nmdhsem.org/2022-wildfires/

Major Disaster Declaration (May 4, 2022)

Five counties are designated for FEMA Individual Assistance including SBA assistance: Colfax, Lincoln, Mora, San Miguel, and Valencia Counties

Five counties are designated for FEMA Public Assistance (Categories B) limited to direct federal assistance and reimbursement for mass care including evacuation and shelter support: Colfax, Lincoln, Mora, San Miguel, and Valencia Counties

An amendment was made to include three counties (Colfax, Mora, and San Miguel) as designated for emergency protective measures (Category B) under FEMA Public Assistance program.

On May 20, the New Mexico wildfires disaster declaration was amended to include debris removal (Category A) under the Public Assistance program (already designated for assistance for emergency protective measures (Category B) including direct federal assistance). This amendment is for Colfax, Mora, and San Miguel Counties.

To advance equity for residents, FEMA has expanded options for proof of homeownership. To learn about the current options and the new expanded options, visit fema.gov/press-release/20210902/fema-makes-changes-individual-assistance-policies-advance-equity-disaster

FEMA and the state of New Mexico are committed to providing disaster assistance to people with disabilities and access and functional needs. Assistance is also available for those who communicate in languages other than English.

If you need an accommodation or assistance due to a disability, ask FEMA at the time of applying or anytime throughout the assistance process.

FEMA is committed to helping all eligible New Mexico residents recover from the wildfires and straight-line winds beginning on April 5 and continuing. These include U.S. citizens, non-citizens and qualified undocumented immigrants. For more details, visit fema.gov/fact-sheet/must-i-be-us-citizen-get-fema-help-1.

FEMA Products

Fact Sheet 001: How to Set Up a FEMA Online Account

Fact Sheet OO2: Verifying Home Ownership or Occupancy

Fact Sheet OO3: You Asked: What Expenses Can FEMA reimburse me for?

Fact Sheet 004: Must I Be a U.S. Citizen to Get FEMA Help?

Fact Sheet 005: Types of Assistance Available for New Mexican Residents Affected by Wildfires

Fact Sheet 006: Common Reasons FEMA May Find you Ineligible for Assistance

Fact Sheet 007: Letters or Status Updates From FEMA

Fact Sheet 008: Beware of Fraud and Scam Artists

Fact Sheet 009: Understanding What Uninsured Losses FEMA May Cover

Fact Sheet 010: Appealing FEMA’s Decision on Your Application for Assistance

Fact Sheet 011: Don’t Wait to Return Home to Apply for FEMA Assistance


News Release 001: New Mexico Residents Affected by Wildfires Can Apply for Possible FEMA Assistance

News Release 002: New Mexico Residents Can Expect to See FEMA Visiting Their Neighborhoods

News Release 003: Submitting an SBA Loan Application Could Bring More FEMA Grant Assistance

News Release 004: New Mexicans Affected by Wildfires Can Visit FEMA Mobile Disaster Recovery Centers Starting May 14

News Release 005: New Mexicans Affected by Wildfires Can Visit a FEMA Disaster Recovery Center in Ruidoso

News Release 006: FEMA Offers Equal Access to All New Mexico Residents Affected by Wildfires

News Release 007: Spend Your FEMA Grant Wisely and Only on Disaster-Related Expenses

News Release 008: FEMA Rental Assistance May Help Renters and Homeowners Who Need a Place to Stay | FEMA.gov