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Bullock declares state of emergency in response to Montana wildfires

Posted at 1:23 PM, Jul 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-28 15:23:28-04

HELENA – On Sunday, Governor Steve Bullock declared a state of emergency via executive order to ensure firefighters have sufficient aviation fuel and fire suppression resources.

The Governor’s Office said in a press release Governor Bullock also secured a federal Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) from FEMA to help fight Helena’s North Hills Fire.

“I join all Montanans in thanking the firefighters who are working around the clock to keep lives and property safe as we face some challenging fires in our state,” said Governor Bullock. “I’m also grateful to FEMA for acting quickly and providing us with assistance, and I’m pleased that local, state and federal agencies are coordinating closely to mitigate risk and put out fires.”

The order also temporarily suspends “hours of service” regulations to meet the increased demand for drivers’ hours spent transporting fuel and fire suppression resources.

According to the press release, the FMAG makes FEMA funding available to pay 75 percent of the state’s eligible firefighting costs. Additionally, each FMAG is eligible for over $450,000 in federal mitigation funding.

Approximately 140 personnel are working the North Hills Fire, currently more than 2600 acres in size.