When the Calf Canyon and Hermit’s Peak fires roared up the Pecos Wilderness this past spring, residents became terrified as the fire raged. Many days of high winds blew sparks up to two miles ahead, igniting the forested mountain sides and farming valleys of San Miguel and More Counties. Communities ahead of the flames were warned to be ready to evacuate, and Chacon, Ocate, Guadalupita, Black Lake, Angel Fire, Eagle Nest were on high alert. Early in the disaster there were no services available to those residents, and Tara Chisum stepped up, offering her Keller Williams Real Estate office in Angel Fire as an Evacuation Station for the Moreno Valley. She organized the office as a food bank drop off and pick up point for evacuees to get groceries and supplies. She saw the need to coordinate volunteers and donations with requests, communicating through the community each day. Each following day the residents showed up with exactly what the evacuees needed.
Tara served as a point of contact between the Governor’s office, Homeland Security and their State Representative Roger Montoya, hosting a breakfast for over 100 evacuees and state and local leaders to identify and fill their needs. She kept in communication with the local fire chief and assisted the Federal firefighters establish a base of operations when they arrived in Angel Fire.
When danger drew near the order to leave was given. Her team had to evacuate the Evacuation Station, as residents were instructed to vacate their homes and businesses. Residents filled trucks and trailers to move their possessions out of the Moreno Valley. They eventually reopened in Mora to be closer to the fire victims. Her efforts then turned to a fundraising event which raised over $31,000, paid directly to victims of the fire.
She is thankful to the community members who really showed up to help their neighbors.
Taos County Association of REALTORS is proud to honor Tara Chisum for her remarkable efforts, and wish to honor her as 2022’s REALTOR OF THE YEAR.