Courtesy: Hill County/ Montana DES

HELENA- The Legislative Fiscal Division says the 2017 wildfire season is expected to cost the state $74.2 million.

Wildfires in 2017 burned nearly 1.3 million acres.

During the 2017 Legislative session, lawmakers budgeted $32.3 million to fight fires for the fiscal years 2018 and 2019. This year’s fire burned through that entire amount as well as an additional $12.5 million from the Governor’s Emergency Fund for Fires.

That leaves nearly $45 million in costs for this season unfunded and no money in the coffer for the 2018 fire season.

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The next most expensive year on record for the state was 2007. Fires that year cost Montana around $50 million.

You can read the state’s report here.

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