As Fire Season Flares Up, Tester Secures Millions to Prevent Montana Wildfires

Senator’s Hard Work Allows State to Apply for Fire Mitigation Grants

(U.S. Senate)—Ranking Member Jon Tester today announced that the state of Montana is eligible to apply for up to $3.4 million to help prevent future wildfires.

Tester wrote and passed legislation that requires FEMA to make an additional 15 percent of Fire Management Assistance Grants (FMAG) declared in fiscal years 2017 and 2018 available for mitigation work.

“Montanans know how devastating wildfires can be, which is why we need to do everything we can to prevent them,” said Tester. “These added resources are now available to the state so we can proactively protect life, property, and land.”

As Ranking Member of the Homeland Appropriations Subcommittee, Tester inserted the provision in the bipartisan 2018 government funding agreement, which creates this new grant program.

The state of Montana will now have six months to apply for the funding.

Tester successfully pushed FEMA to issue eight FMAGs last year (Strawberry Fire, Moose Peak Fire, Hwy 200 Fire Complex, West Fork Fire, Alice Creek Fire, Rice Ridge Fire, Lolo Peak Fire, and the Lodgepole Fire Complex). Those FMAGs covered 75 percent of the state’s firefighting costs.

Tester was the only member of Montana’s delegation to vote for the bipartisan agreement that made this funding available.

A summary of Tester’s work defending Montana from wildfires is HERE.