HELENA, Mont. - Governor Greg Gianforte declared a statewide wildland fire emergency in Montana Wednesday, July 14.
“Montana faces critical fire conditions that pose significant threats to our communities, infrastructure, first responders, and way of life,” Gov. Gianforte said in a release from his office. “As our firefighters battle active fires across the state with more to come, this executive order helps ensure they have the suppression resources, supplies, and fuel they need to safely and aggressively respond.”
According to the office of the governor, 1,400 fires have covered a total of 141,000 acres in Montana as of July 14. Executive Order 12-2021 is a response to severely dry and hazardous wildfire conditions throughout the state and scarcity of firefighting resources.
The governor's office said the executive order will help Montana get resources firefighters need to fight fires, which includes the ability for the governor to deploy the Montana National Guard to help with suppression efforts.
The executive order will help local and volunteer firefighters get relief. Additionally, the governor is allowed to request the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, a national mutual assistance program with other states to share resources amid emergencies or disasters.
“I’m urging all Montanans and visitors to our state to do their part. Follow local fire restrictions, prepare your homes and communities for wildfire, and recreate and work safely to ensure you’re not adding to our wildland firefighters’ workload by inadvertently starting a wildfire. Our dedicated, courageous first responders are depending on us all,” the Gov. Gianforte said.