Tester Secures Federal Resources for Alice Creek, Rice Ridge, and West Fork Fires

FEMA Releases Disaster Assistance for Three Major Montana Fires

(Big Sandy, Mont.)-After inviting President Trump to Montana to tour the wildfires, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced that three major Montana wildfires have been approved to receive FEMA’s disaster assistance.

After Tester called on FEMA to send additional resources to Montana, FEMA will be releasing federal funds to help fight the Alice Creek Fire in Lewis and Clark County, the Rice Ridge Fire in Missoula and Powell Counties, and the West Fork Fire in Lincoln County.

“With more than a million acres in Montana burned and little relief in sight, Washington must step up and do its part to ensure lives, homes, are property are protected,” said Tester. “These resources will be a critical force on the front lines as firefighters and first responders work hard to beat back these blazes.”

These resources come in the form of a Fire Management Assistance Grant and makes FEMA funding available to pay 75 percent of the state’s eligible firefighting costs. Fire Management Assistance Grants can assist with expenses for field camps, equipment, mobilization and demobilization activities, tools, materials and supplies. These grants do not provide assistance to individual home or business owners and do not cover other infrastructure damage caused by the fire.

In a floor speech this week, Tester announced he will be looking to secure additional firefighting resources in the upcoming Hurricane Harvey and Irma funding legislation.

Tester has also launched an online portal where Montanans who are impacted by fire and drought can contact his office and receive help. On Friday, Tester announced that 30 Montana farmers and ranchers who lost agriculture land in wildfires would be receiving $2.5 million to help rebuild their operations.