MTPR

Montana Wildfire News

Live and beetle killed trees in the Helena National Forest.
Steve Jess

Today the U.S. House passed the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill with strong bipartisan support. It funds the federal government through September. The bill now heads to the Senate where NPR says it is also likely to pass with bipartisan support.

Wednesday, Montana's Republican Senator Steve Daines said there's good news for the Treasure State in the spending bill.

The Rice Ridge Fire seen from Seeley Lake on August 1, 2017.
Eric Whitney

There will be no more so-called "fire-borrowing" from the U.S. Forest Service if the big federal spending bill Congress is working on passes. 

Both of Montana's U.S. Senators confirmed today that the spending bill expected to be voted on this week fundamentally changes how America pays to fight wildfires

A closeup satellite image shows a thick layer of wildfire smoke covering Idaho and Montana, September 4, 2017.
NOAA

Montana researchers who are looking into the impact of wildfire smoke on people's health, and on firefighters' resiliency updated the public on their work Tuesday at the University of Montana. 

Dr. Paul Smith is a professor of medicine at UM, and a pediatric pulmonologist. 

"Anecdotally, this is one of the worse seasons we've had at Community Medical Center for kids being admitted and on ventilators. Our floor has just been chock full this season. And, you wonder," said Smith. 

Smoke covers the northwest on Sept. 4 2017.
NOAA

Last year, unprecedented levels of wildfire smoke from the epic 2017 wildfire season choked communities across western Montana and left lots of people wondering what breathing that smoke was doing to their health. And on Tuesday night on campus in Missoula, a University of Montana researcher will share some of his findings on the detrimental health effects of smoke.

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