Tester Questions Air Tanker Choice - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Tester Questions Air Tanker Choice

Posted: Updated:
WASHINGTON, DC -

Senator Jon Tester (D-Montana) attacked a decision by the Forest Service on its choice of air tankers to fight wildfires.

The senator says better options were on the table when the Forest Service decided to go with 7, Next-Gen air tankers.

Tester says those planes might not be ready until late July, at the earliest. He believes the delay could put Montana communities at risk.

"I've seen what's happened in Montana's forests for a long time now. I live in eastern Montana, two, three hundred miles from where the forest is and we're covered in smoke most summers. But if we're going to fight these fires, and if you want to use NextGEN as being the plane that's really going to get the job done much more efficiently and cost effectively, I honest to goodness can't figure out why the award was made the way it was," says Tester.

Tester points out last year's fire season set records in Montana and across the West.

One Montana company already appealed the contracts with the Forest Service which could also add delays.

  • LocalMore>>

  • YBGR Greenhouse Expansion

    YBGR Greenhouse Expansion

    Thursday, April 24 2014 8:18 PM EDT2014-04-25 00:18:57 GMT
    The Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch is in the process of expanding its greenhouse to the south side of town. Right behind the Garfield School, you'll find a greenhouse that's filling up with colorful flowers.
    The Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch is in the process of expanding its greenhouse to the south side of town. Right behind the Garfield School, you'll find a greenhouse that's filling up with colorful flowers.

  • Students Host Open House

    Students Host Open House

    Thursday, April 24 2014 8:15 PM EDT2014-04-25 00:15:20 GMT
    Some MSU-Billings students got a chance to show off their finished work. It's a story we first told you about in February as a part of the Construction Technology-Carpentry Program at City College.
    Some MSU-Billings students got a chance to show off their finished work. It's a story we first told you about in February as a part of the Construction Technology-Carpentry Program at City College.
  • Warning Sirens Working Properly in Yellowstone County

    Warning Sirens Working Properly in Yellowstone County

    Thursday, April 24 2014 8:08 PM EDT2014-04-25 00:08:48 GMT
    All 24 warning sirens in Yellowstone County are working properly according to the county's Department of Emergency Services. The sirens were tested last night for about a minute as part of Severe Weather Awareness Week.
    All 24 warning sirens in Yellowstone County are working properly according to the county's Department of Emergency Services. The sirens were tested last night for about a minute as part of Severe Weather Awareness Week.