Bullock declares state of disaster in Montana due to wildfires - KXLH.com | Helena, Montana

Bullock declares state of disaster in Montana due to wildfires

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Governor Steve Bullock on Friday issued an executive order declaring a state of disaster to exist in Montana due to wildfires. 

This comes a few weeks after Bullock formally declared a fire emergency (article).

As with the July order, this declaration allows Governor Bullock to mobilize additional state resources and the Montana National Guard to combat the fires.

The executive order was issued in conjunction with a directive to the Montana Department of Transportation that temporarily suspends certain regulatory requirements to facilitate the transport of heavy firefighting equipment.

In a press release, Bullock said, “As we enter the unofficial last weekend of summer, Montana continues to face serious fire conditions. Over the coming days, additional National Guard resources will be mobilized to continue to support the men and women fighting these fires. Our top priority remains firefighter safety and protecting Montanans and their property.”

The state firefighting fund started the two-year budget period on July 1st with about $30 million.

As of August 30th – just two months into the budget period — the state has spent that entire amount, and an additional $14.5 million.

The state is dipping into other budgets to pay for firefighting now and estimating it will need another $20 million this year and $20 million next year.

Here is a list and map of the 20 largest wildfires currently burning in Montana.

The fires represented on the map below are all actively burning and have scorched at least 1,000 acres. There are several dozen smaller fires currently burning in Montana that are not included in this map.

Recent fires that have been completely extinguished, are not actively burning, and/or do not pose a threat to lives or homes, are not included. Those fires are no longer being updated on Inciweb, a website which provides information and updates on wildfires across the state. One example is the Lodgepole Complex Fire, which burned more than 270,000 acres in central/eastern Montana several weeks ago.

All data below is from Inciweb and Interagency Dispatch Centers as of 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, September 1, 2017.

Click here for recent FireWatch articles and videos.

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