Montana is a resilient state, we are hardy people who stick together and look out for our neighbors. This last month of fires has tested our resolve, but we have shown we are committed to defending our homes and communities. We will get through this, together.
Important progress was made over Labor Day weekend and several fires have been contained and are starting to be under control.
The Sartin Draw fire located 20 miles northeast of Ashland was at 85 percent containment Monday and cooler temperatures were expected to continue through Tuesday.
The East Fork fire south of Havre in the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation was at 21,500 acres Monday. The fire is 40 percent contained, and fire bosses said that good progress toward full containment is being made.
Senator Daines, Congressman Gianforte, and Secretary Zinke took a junket to the Lolo fire and used the enormous destruction and human suffering to call out their political opponents and attempted to politicize this statewide disaster. Gianforte, Daines and Zinke did not meet with Montanans over the August recess, they met with the press to further a debunked narrative and they disappeared.
Daines has not held a town hall with Montanans in 2017, yet has time for press conferences?
Zinke is posting photos about his fishing vacation rather than use the enormous responsibility he has been entrusted to help the people of Montana. One would think Montana would get some priority from this guy considering that he is planning on running for Governor in 2020.
More members of the National Guard are coming to assist firefighters who have been spread thin and working hard all over Montana. Governor Bullock ordered a second wave of National Guard members into fire training and they will be ready to hit the ground this week.
“Over the coming days, additional National Guard resources will be mobilized to continue to support the men and women fighting these fires. Our top priority remains firefighter safety and protecting Montanans and their property.”
Senator Tester secured critical life-saving resources from the FEMA to help fight the Lodgepole Complex Fire in eastern Montana. Tester has also launched an online portal to assist Montanans impacted by recent disasters and help determine what federal assistance they may be qualified to receive as a result of their losses.
Governor Bullock declared a state fire disaster. That declaration allows him to mobilize additional state resources and the Montana National Guard to combat fires. Bullock’s latest executive order was issued along with a directive to the Montana Department of Transportation that temporarily suspends certain regulatory requirements to facilitate the transport of heavy firefighting equipment. State officials remain in regular communication with the Federal Emergency Management Agency regarding possible assistance to support state and local firefighting costs for businesses and individuals impacted by fires.
“The reality is Montana is in a severe drought and the conditions are ripe for continued severe fires throughout September,” Bullock said. “This has been a long and incredibly difficult fire season and conditions this week will continue to be challenging. Everyone — residents, visitors, volunteers — must continue to stay safe, stay informed, and continue to support our firefighters, our communities and businesses impacted by fires.”
Resources to learn more about the fires in Montana through these links: