Montana Firefighting Costs Higher Compared to 2014 Fire Season
This summer began with calls for caution by some Montana state agencies warning that the 2015 fire season could be the worst on record.At about this time last year, the state had spent 1.8 million dollars on fire suppression. Montana Department of Resources and Conservation Public Information Officer Crystal Beckman said we spent a lot more than that this year.
"We held good through June and into July," Beckman said. "The primary majority of the activity really picked up for the DNRC and other agencies in August and kept us very busy. The DNRC has a fire suppression fund that is set aside for firefighting costs and to date we are at an estimated 9 million for fire costs."
But the costs were far lower than the 50 million spent during the record high costs of the 2012 fire season. Despite more fire starts this year, 2012 also saw a lot more acres burn.
"The last highest year for five years was in 2012 and that's where we had 556,000 acres burned," Beckman said. "2015 is the highest acreage burned since 2012 and we are only at 42,000 acres this year."
Montana went into the 2015 fire season with more than 70 million dollars set aside for fire suppression. Luckily, most of that money won’t be burnt up this season.