HELENA - Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte announced Wednesday the state has secured a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) from FEMA to assist with costs associated with fighting the Richard Spring Fire burning in Rosebud County.
“Our firefighters brave long hours, rugged terrain, and searing temperatures to protect our communities and livelihoods,” Gianforte said in a press release. “We're asking all Montanans to take seriously the evacuation warnings and orders from local law enforcement and follow all necessary precautions when a wildfire is burning nearby.”
On Tuesday, Montana’s Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) submitted the request for firefighting assistance and the request was approved that afternoon by FEMA.
The FMAG makes FEMA funding available to pay 75 percent of the state’s eligible firefighting costs. Eligible costs include materials and supplies, mobilization and demobilization, equipment use, and expenses for field camps.
Additionally, each FMAG generates over $550,000 in federal mitigation funding.
At the time of the FMAG request, the Richard Spring Fire was threatening the communities of Colstrip, Lame Deer and Ashland, Montana with over 1,880 homes and a population of over 5,000 at risk. Six hundred people were under evacuation orders. The fire started Sunday, August 8, 2021, and at the time of the request, had burned more than 75,000 acres with zero percent containment.
On Wednesday, fire officials said the fire had burned 150,000 acres and was 15 percent contained.