Missoula County to receive $1.6M for wildfire mitigation
(Missoula Current) Missoula County will receive a $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Forest Service to mitigate the risk of wildfire in the urban interface.
Sen. Jon Tester announced the Community Wildfire Defense Grant this week. The funding stems from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which Tester supported.
“As a third-generation farmer, I know that wildfire season creates real challenges for rural communities in Missoula County,” Tester said in a statement announcing the grant. “This will make sure that local Montana communities have the tools they need to prevent and prepare for fires before they wreak havoc on our land and livelihoods.”
The funding will help increase the scale and pace of controlled burning in conjunction with thinning to protect homes and infrastructure. The project will help treat around 1,500 acres of non-federal forest land.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was crafted by five Democrats and five Republicans. Tester was the only member of Montana's congressional delegation to vote for the legislation.
“Too many folks in Washington don’t understand the challenges we face in Montana,” Tester said. “That’s why I fought to secure the necessary resources in my Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the Community Wildfire Defense Grant Program.”
Tester last year secured $4.4 billion for wildfire suppression in the 2023 government funding package, along with $1.5 billion in disaster relief funding for the National Park Service.