Montana Wildfire Fund Grows to $86.5 Million
So far this fire season, the state has spent about $10.5 million to fight wildfires.
But the Legislature's fiscal division reported this week that the state's wildfire suppression fund has grown to $86.5 million, with just a few bills left to pay.
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports that this year's balance started at $38.7 million, rolled over from last year. But it was boosted by the $13.4 million leftover in the governor's emergency fund.
In addition, it received $21.5 million of leftover appropriations and a one-time infusion of $15 million of excess corporate license taxes.
It took decades for Montana to adopt a proactive funding process for wildfire suppression.
In 2013, the state created a permanent wildfire funding account with a steady stream of cash.