HELENA (AP) — A Montana official says wildfire suppression has cost the state $21 million so far this year.
Hoyt Richards of the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation said Tuesday that the state is burning about $1.5 million per day to fight fires.
Richards says the fire season will continue to be busy until there is a season-ending weather event that brings between 1 and three inches of rain or snow.
There will be just $30 million in the state’s reserve fund to help pay for wildfires after budget cuts ordered by state lawmakers take effect this month.
Montana will be reimbursed for 75 percent of its costs through a grant from the U.S. government to fight the state’s largest fire, the Lodgepole Complex Fire, which has burned 423 square miles in eastern Montana.