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New Mexico governor seeks more U.S. aid for wildfire response

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico’s governor is asking for additional federal assistance to respond to wildfires burning across the state’s north, including one that is the second-largest in the state’s history and that officials estimate has destroyed hundreds of homes.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said Friday in a letter to President Joe Biden that New Mexico needs more help than is being provided under the president’s recent disaster declaration.

The needed response, including immediate funding for debris removal and “a full range of emergency protective measures,” exceeds the state’s capabilities and the federal government should bear 100% of the costs because one part of the fire was ignited by wind-blown embers from a prescribed burn on the Santa Fe National Forest, the governor said.

That fire has since merged with another blaze and grown to 437 square miles (1,133 square kilometers). The 5-week-old combined fire for

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