MISSOULA – Montana is on its own when it comes to paying the huge bill for last summer’s record wildfire season.
In addition to the hundreds of millions of dollars in federal money spent to fight the summer blazes, the State of Montana, along with many local fire departments, spent ten of millions of dollars on fire operations.
Montana blew through two years of fire funding during the most expensive season on record, sending the state into a budget emergency.
Montana Public Radio is reporting the federal government has turned down the state’s request for $44 million for emergency relief to help pay for the firefighting operations.
FEMA did previously award $11 million for some of the initial fire costs, but it’s expected to take two to three years for some of those payments to come through.