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Montana wildfires overview
Posted at 9:56 AM, Aug 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-04 13:48:30-04

HELENA — Governor Greg Gianforte on Tuesday was briefed on Montana's wildfire situation and the dozens of fires burning across the state.

Montana remains in Preparedness Level 5, and the Northern Rockies region is the top priority region in the nation. A total of 482,000 acres have burned across Montana since January 1, 2021; more than 260,000 of those acres are just since last Monday.

As of Tuesday morning (August 3), there are 24 large fire incidents in Montana. The state remains in Preparedness Level 5, and the Northern Rockies region is the number one priority region in the nation.

Since January 1, there have been more than 1,800 fire starts in Montana that have burned an estimated 482,000 acres, with more than 260,000 of those acres burned since last Monday due to new fire starts and growth of existing fires. Since the governor’s fire briefing last Monday, there have been 159 new fire starts.

Officials estimate approximately 38 residences have been lost this year so far, and approximately 600 people are currently displaced from their homes due to evacuation orders on nine fires.

The largest fire in Montana is the PF Fire southeast of Billings, at 65,000 acres and 80 percent containment.

The top priority fire in Montana as of Tuesday is the Boulder 2700 Fire several miles northeast of Polson, at 1,400 acres and no containment.

Montana entered the fiscal year with the Fire Suppression Fund at its statutory maximum of roughly $105 million. Officials estimate that nearly $19.4 million from the fund has been spent fighting fire since the start of the state’s current fiscal year.

The governor also received an update on the mobilization of the Montana National Guard to assist in the state’s wildland fire response. There are currently 84 soldiers assisting. Gianforte said that six additional hand crews will soon be engaged on fires for a total of 200 soldiers assisting with aviation, hand crews, security, and other support.

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