Biden says that the federal government will pay for all costs of cleaning up after the huge wildfire in New Mexico

President Biden said that the federal government would pay for all of the costs of cleaning up after the huge wildfire in New Mexico.

The fire, which has been going on since April 6, is now the biggest in the history of the state. It has burned over 500 square miles and destroyed hundreds of homes, according to federal officials.

Biden said that the US Forest Service started the fire by accident when they botched a planned burn.

"We need to make sure this doesn't happen again," Biden told reporters at an emergency operations center in Santa Fe on Saturday, where he announced that the federal government would help fight the fire more.

The president promised that the federal government would pay for all of the costs of emergency response and cleanup, which are usually split between the federal and state governments.

Michelle Lujan Grisham, the governor of New Mexico, thanked Biden on Saturday for how his administration "got involved from the start," not just by saying that the US Forest Service caused the fire.

Biden visits the Emergency Operation Center after receiving a briefing on the wildfires in New Mexico on June 11.
Kevin Lamarque/REUTERS
The fires in New Mexico have covered an area of 500 square miles.
JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

"That's why I think the federal government needs to keep taking responsibility, and I know you've been looking at requests to pay for all of the costs of virus-related recovery efforts," she said.

Biden said that he agrees that Washington should pay for the damage caused by the fire, but that this would need to be approved by Congress.

Because of the fire, thousands of people in New Mexico had to leave their homes. Many of them came from poor rural villages. Thousands of acres of farmland and grazing land were destroyed, and many family businesses also went out of business because of the terrible fire.

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