For the first time this year, the Montana National Guard has been activated to fight a fire in Montana.
A Chinook helicopter and its team of 15 were deployed to combat the Meyers fire, 25 miles south of Philipsburg in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest.
Brian Scott is a public information officer working on the 13,000 acre blaze.
“We’re going to be able to utilize one of the helicopters from the National Guard and that will be nice for us not only in terms of helping put water in spots that are hotter than we’d like, but also, it will give them some additional training.”
Montana Governor Steve Bullock declared a state of emergency last month in response to extreme fire activity in the state. This authorized him to mobilize the National Guard and tap state emergency funds.
Montana is struggling to keep up with its firefighting costs. It’s spending an estimated $1 million - $1.5 million a day on fire-related expenses.