State-County COOP Fire Plan Preview - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

State-County COOP Fire Plan Preview

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

In 2017, there were 261 wildfires in Yellowstone County. That's according to the Director of Emergency Services for Yellowstone County, Brad Shoemaker. He told KULR-8 on Saturday, that three or four of those wildfires needed additional assistance.

On Monday, Shoemaker will present the Yellowstone County Joint Fire Agency Response and Operations Plan. The county COOP plan will be developed by the DNRC in conjunction with the county. Shoemaker explained that the fire plan is revised and renewed every few years. He said the last time they had a revision of the fire plan was in 2012 and that it's nothing new. The plan will outline exactly what the county's responsibilities are when wildfires break out.

Shoemaker explained, "We can use local and county resources, so volunteer fire departments, county road graders for initial attack on fires. And then, if we need larger support like incident management teams, or helicopters, or aviation resources, we get those through Montana DNRC and the county doesn't have to pay for them. So, the other thing we get out of there is DNRC provides training and expertise since it's overhead for us, so we can manage large fires when we need to. It's the best way we can respond to the large number of fires we get in Yellowstone County and still be prepared operationally and financially for large fires without having to staff year-round for it."

Shoemaker considers the plan one of the best regarding cooperation between different levels of government in the state.

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