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Wildfire, fire management and air quality news for western Montana and the Northern Rockies.

Montana Getting FEMA Funds To Help Lolo Peak Firefighting Efforts

Lolo Peak Fire, August 10, 2017.
Lolo Peak Fire, August 10, 2017.

Montana will be getting FEMA funding to help with the costs of the Lolo Peak Fire.

Federal Emergency Management Agency spokesman Jerry DeFelice says funding is now available to pay 75 percent of the state’s eligible firefighting cost on the Lolo Peak Fire.

“The purpose of the grant is to keep a fire from creating an even bigger disaster that would impact residents in the area or affect critical infrastructure.”

It was also announced today that 155 National Guard troops based in Missoula will be deployed to help provide security for areas affected by Lolo Peak Fire evacuations.

The Lolo Peak Fire threatens over 1,500 homes as well as local infrastructure.

Federal Fire Management Assistance Grants do not provide funds to help home or business owners.

“The idea is to relieve the incident commander of some of the financial burden so he can go ahead and make decisions to put the fire down. They’re used for such things as establishing a fire camp, mobilizing teams, traffic control. It can also be used for equipment.”

To date, the Lolo Peak Fire has cost $18 million to fight, and there’s no end in sight.

Only one other Montana fire, the 270,000 acre Lodgepole Complex in Eastern Montana, has received a similar FEMA Grant this season.

O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the University of Montana School of Journalism. His first career job out of school was covering the 1995 Montana Legislature. When the session wrapped up, O’Brien was fortunate enough to land a full-time position at the station as a general assignment reporter. Feel free to drop him a line at
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