Hermit's Peak Fire

Update: The Federal Emergency Management Agency has announced it is no longer accepting resumes at this moment. The agency said this may change in the future.

The federal government is hiring for a number of well-paid jobs to help Northern New Mexico recover from the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Fire.

The jobs are with the government’s Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Claims Office, opened by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to handle damage claims from the devastating blaze. Available positions include Chief Ombudsman, Claims Representative, Navigator, Inventory Management Specialist, Supply Management Specialist and Public Affairs Specialist.

Duty stations for the federal jobs will be located in Santa Fe, Las Vegas or Mora, authorities said. Pay for the positions will range from $55,169 to $146,149, according to the government. 

All applicants must be U.S. citizens, 18 years of age or older and possess a high school diploma or GED. They will be required to pass a background investigation that includes fingerprinting and a credit check. 

Applicants should send their resumes to fema-hermits-peak-jobs@fema.dhs.gov.

The jobs will help the government assess damage claims and pay out the $3.95 billion of aid included in The Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Fire Assistance Act and a separate appropriation. 

Compensation may cover eligible losses including personal injury, loss of property, business loss or financial loss, authorities said.

An additional $100 million in loans may be offered to counties, cities and municipalities dealing with damages from the fire if state Senate Bill 6 is passed in the Roundhouse, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican

Democratic Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernández, who sponsored the federal fire relief bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, is working to ensure locals apply for the open federal jobs.

“I will continue to push the federal government to hire New Mexicans to serve in the Hermit’s Peak Claims Office,” Leger Fernández told the Rio Grande SUN. “We need people in that office who understand the unique challenges and culture of the affected communities as claims are filed, reviewed, and ultimately determined. Hiring local is essential to build trust in the Hermit’s Peak Claims Office and make sure the claims process is as easy and fast as possible for New Mexicans who have lost so much.” 

The Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Fire burned around 340,000 acres of national forest, private land and Pecos Wilderness. It started when prescribed burns by the U.S. Forest Service broke containment, grew out of control and burned for more than four months last year, destroying more than 1,000 structures across northern New Mexico, according to the governor’s office.

The fire was the largest in New Mexico’s history.

The New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department defines a prescribed burn as the controlled application of fire to achieve specific natural resource management objectives. 

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