Tester Statement on Wildfires Flaring in Montana

(Big Sandy, MT) – Senator Jon Tester today issued the following statement regarding the wildfires raging across Montana:

“I want to thank the brave men and women who are charging into harm’s way to keep Montana safe and fight these devastating fires. My thoughts and prayers are with the firefighters and the folks in the communities facing these threats. Fire seasons are only getting longer and, unfortunately, fires like Roaring Lion are becoming all too common across the West. Congress needs to act. We need to treat fires like the large-scale disasters they are and allow for emergency funding to be used to fight them.”

In July, Tester announced his Western Wildfire Initiative, a set of three bills that seek to prevent fires from starting, fix how firefighting is funded, and help the courageous seasonal firefighters find permanent employment.

Today, FEMA granted the State of Montana’s Fire Management Assistance Grant request. This will give federal assistance to the State to help mitigate, manage, and control the Roaring Lion wildfire on publicly or privately owned land.

If the Senate passed Tester’s Wildfire Mitigation Assistance Act, the community would be eligible for additional hazard mitigation funding as well.

Tomorrow, Tester will be in Hamilton meeting with local officials about the Roaring Lion fire.