A little more than a year ago, Debbie Cress said she had landed her dream job as the new supervisor of the Santa Fe National Forest.

But in the wake of the devastating Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon Fire, Cress is leaving her long-desired post for a temporary duty assignment in Washington, D.C., where she will serve as an assistant to U.S. Forest Service chief of staff Tony Scardina.

The news comes as the state continues to grapple with the aftershocks of the largest forest fire in New Mexico's history. The Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon blaze burned more than 341,000 acres and has lasted three months.

General Assignment Reporter

Robert Nott has covered education and youth issues for the Santa Fe New Mexican. He is assigned to The New Mexican's city desk where he covers a general assignment beat.

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