Montana Public Radio

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Montana will receive a federal grant to establish COVID-19 crisis counseling services. The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced Wednesday that it has approved crisis counseling assistance for Montanans struggling to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

Campaign Beat: Mail-In Voting, COVID-19 Aid And Climate Change

Apr 10, 2020

Gov. Bullock's complaint about the federal response to Montana's pandemic equipment needs yields results. Sen. Daines has a new campaign ad bragging about that aid. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Whitney Williams wants to have an online debate with her primary election opponent. Montana will have its first-ever statewide mail-in primary election. And in a close vote, the public service commission decides not to sponsor a forum on climate change.

Listen now on Campaign Beat, with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

Bell 407 helicopter gathering water from the Big Hole River to drop on the Adson Fire near Wise River.
inciweb

Updated: 5:30 p.m., July 31, 2019 

New forest closures were announced due to the North Hills Fire north of Helena, which has burned more than 4,700 acres. 

The Forest Service closure includes the southern Gates of the Mountain wilderness boundary, extending south along the York/Nelson road to York. It also goes west along York Road to the forest boundary, then north following the boundary and Missouri River. 

North Hills fire briefing at the Helena Valley Community Center Monday, July 29
Corin Cates-Carney

Updated 4:50 p.m.

A little after 4 p.m. the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s office Facebook page announced a new evacuation due to a new wildfire for the Beaver Creek area near Nelson. It says a roadblock is in place at the York Bar preventing traffic from traveling north. Travel is still permitted east toward Vigilante Campground.

A Whitefish-based company says the Puerto Rican power utility still owes it more than $100 million for its work restoring power to the hurricane-battered island. It’s asking the U.S. territory’s courts to intervene.

Montana Department of Transportation crews clear roads north of Browning, MT on S-464, February 26, 2018.
Montana Department of Transportation

Schools and government offices on the Blackfeet Reservation were closed again Tuesday after another bout of winds buffeted the reservation, leaving roadways impassable, buried under snow drifts.

The reservation remains under a state of emergency and an Incident Command team is coordinating with the State of Montana, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other state, tribal and non-government groups.

The Park Creek Fire north of Lincoln, summer 2017.
Inciweb

Montana is appealing FEMA’s denial of the state's request for a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration following last year’s historic fire season.

In late December, the federal government denied Governor Bullock’s initial request for help in covering some of the $44 million in firefighting costs billed to the state at the end of last summer summer when Montana’s own fire fund was almost drained.

Crews work the July Fire in Phillips County, Montana July 5, 2017.
Inciweb

The federal government has denied Montana’s request for $44 million dollars in disaster funding following the historic 2017 fire season that burned over a million acres across the state.

Montana Senator Steve Daines questions officials during a Senate committe hearing on power restoration in Puerto Rico, Tuesday, October 31, 2017.
Public Domain

Both of Montana’s senators questioned federal oversight of a multi-million dollar contract between Montana-based Whitefish Energy and the Puerto Rican electric utility during a Senate committee hearing today.

Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines grilled administrators overseeing power restoration efforts in Puerto Rico during the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and other federal officials are distancing themselves from a multi-million dollar contract between a small Montana company and Puerto Rico's electric utility.

In a statement released today, Zinke said he had, “nothing to do" with the controversial $300 million contract awarded to Whitefish Energy for power restoration work in Puerto Rico.

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