Mild Fire Season Means Big Savings - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Mild Fire Season Means Big Savings

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The 2014 wildfire season has been a mild one so far, potentially benefiting next year's fire season.

DNRC Fire Program Manager Derek Yeager says a combination of favorable weather and responsible firefighting tactics keep fire suppression costs low.

"One of the things that we really work hard at is making sure that we have just enough, but not too much. Fighting fire does come with a cost; sometimes heavier than others, but we make a very concerted effort to be sure that we are as prepared as we could be, or need to be, based on those conditions and those threat factors, but not overdoing it at an unnecessary expense," says Derek Yeager, Fire Program Manager for DNRC.

Montana has not had to dip into its new wildfire suppression fund much this summer.

According to the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, 218 wildfires burned up around 11,000 acres in Montana.

The average is 325 fires and approximately 155,000.

The state has spent about a half a million dollars this year on fire suppression and compared to 2012 when the state saw outbreak after outbreak, the state spent $56 million though the average is about $23 million per year.

The fire suppression fund for 2014 was roughly $50 million.

 

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