Char-Koosta News

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Tester fights for more resources to combat Montana wildfires

From Senator Tester’s Office

U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Jon Tester today joined with the Montana National Guard in requesting additional equipment to combat wildfires and to control fires on federal military training areas.

Tester lent his support for the Montana National Guard’s request to provide seven new firefighting buckets for its helicopter fleet.

“This past wildfire season pushed the Montana National Guard’s firefighting equipment to its limit,” said Tester. “We need to secure the equipment for firefighters now before we head into what could be another devastating season. The cost of this equipment is a fraction of the damage from this past summer, but could vastly increase the National Guard’s ability to protect communities and citizens across Montana.”

The Montana National Guard requested two firefighting bucket kits for CH-47 helicopters and five firefighting bucket kits for UH-60 helicopters from the National Guard Bureau.

The Montana National Guard mobilized multiple times this year to fight wildfires across Montana, and its equipment was pushed to the limit of its serviceability. Currently, to fully support potential mission requirements, the Montana National Guard could be forced to rely on equipment that belong to other states.

More than one million acres burned across Montana this year, resulting in an estimated $44 million in damages.
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