The Latest: Montana Has $66.5M in Firefighting Fund
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Montana has more than $66 million in its firefighting fund going into the 2019 season. Two years ago, lagging revenues led lawmakers to raid the fund just before a record fire season.
Gov. Steve Bullock said Wednesday that state agencies finished Fiscal Year 2019 under budget, which allows $30 million of that surplus to be added to the fire fund.
In recent years, Montana has averaged about $20 million in annual firefighting costs.
The fire fund contained about $60 million in May 2017 when lawmakers pulled out $30 million due to lagging revenues.
The 2017 fire season cost the state $74.4 million, leaving the state about $40 million short. The deficit contributed to a special legislative session in November 2017.