Montana firefighting costs approach $400M - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Montana firefighting costs approach $400M

Posted: Updated:
HELENA, Mont. -

The cost of fighting wildfires in Montana this year is approaching $400 million.

To date, wildfires have burned almost 1,900 square miles (3,000 square kilometers) in the state. That's more than any other year in the past two decades.

State officials tell the Montana Environmental Quality Council the state doesn't have a fully sustainable program for fire seasons as severe as this one. They propose boosting preparedness by keeping equipment closer to where fires tend to occur.

State and county firefighters say they controlled about 2,100 fires while they were still small for a 98 percent success rate. County crews likely caught hundreds more fires that went unreported.

The Helena Independent Record reports  Montana has received eight federal grants to cover 75 percent of firefighting costs.

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Information from: Independent Record, http://www.helenair.com

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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