Tester Demands FEMA Issue Disaster Assistance for Lodgepole Complex Fire

Senator Holds Administration Accountable for Denying Critical Resources to Fight State’s Largest Fire

(U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester is demanding that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reconsider Montana’s request for life-saving resources that could be used to help fight the Lodgepole Complex Fire in Garfield and Petroleum Counties.

After receiving word FEMA had denied the state’s request for assistance, Tester called FEMA Administrator Brock Long on Monday, then followed up today by sending him a letter asking that Governor Steve Bullock’s request for the Fire Management Assistance Grant declaration be granted.

“The Lodgepole Complex Fire has destroyed over a dozen homes and hundreds of thousands of acres of land in Montana,” said Tester. “FEMA needs to step up right now and provide critical resources to the region as these fires ravage our communities. I demand that FEMA immediately reconsider its action and step up to protect Montana families, businesses, and land.”

A Fire Management Assistance Grant declaration helps provide equipment and supplies, evacuations and sheltering, federal and out-of-state resources, and mitigation, management, mobilization and demobilization funds.

Tester spoke on the Senate floor this week calling on Congress to pass legislation that treats wildfires like any other natural disasters so responders can tap emergency funding in order to fight them.

Tester’s letter to Administrator Long can be read HERE.