governor mobilizes Montana National Guard to fight fires | 406 Politics
The Alder Creek Fire, which burns in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest near Wise River, is the top priority fire in the country.
The state has experienced 1,500 fire starts this year and 200,000 acres have burned, 500 of which occurred in July.
The state started the fire season with its full fire fund at $ 105 million, and so far this season’s suppression costs have reached around $ 8.9 million, according to the briefing.
Montana faces a fire season fueled by dry conditions and a heat wave that killed hundreds in the western United States earlier this month, the Associated Press reported that a study by a team of scientists found that the heat wave could not have happened without man-made climate change.
In June, Gianforte pulled Montana out of a multi-state climate coalition, saying he believed innovation and not government mandates was the best way to tackle climate change. The move has come under heavy criticism from advocates working to tackle and adapt to climate change.
A statement from the governor’s office said Gianforte also met with Forest Service regional forester Leanne Marten on Wednesday.
“The couple spoke about the governor’s goal to increase the number of hectares of forest treated in Montana each year and stressed the importance of active forest management,” according to a reading of the fire briefing .