Sunrise Fire Photo credit Carly Garrison

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.

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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.

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