Aug 16, 2017

Montana wildfire fund nearly used up, fires continue to rage

Helena, MT
Bobby Caina Calvan
SFGate via Associated Press
Photo: Greg Lindstrom, AP
Photo: Greg Lindstrom, AP

Montana's firefighting fund could run out by the end of the week, the state's budget director acknowledged Wednesday, forcing officials to draw money from emergency reserves to keep crews and equipment on the front lines of the worst collection of wildfires in the U.S.

More than $168.5 million of mostly federal money as of Wednesday was spent battling about 1,400 fires, big and small, that have charred nearly 780 square miles (2,020 square kilometers) statewide, according to the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.