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Gianforte Secures Wildfire Disaster Aid for Montana

October 12, 2017
Press Release
Speaker Ryan, Majority Leader McCarthy Credit Gianforte for Drawing Attention to Wildfires

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives voted today to provide $36.5 billion for urgent, short-term recovery needs from recent natural disasters. The funding package includes $576.5 million for wildfires, including fire suppression as well as relief and recovery needs.

The emergency relief legislation also provides funding for additional relief and recovery efforts through FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund.

Montana Congressman Greg Gianforte has focused Washington’s attention on wildfires in the state, has advocated for relief for Montana, and voted for the legislation.

"This year’s destructive wildfires have ravaged Montana, burning nearly 1.25 million acres. I witnessed the devastation firsthand and saw livelihoods threatened, wildlife habitats destroyed, and poor air quality jeopardize the health of Montanans, particularly our children and seniors, Gianforte said.

“The relief package passed today is a good first step as we work to recover and rebuild our communities from this year’s wildfires,” Gianforte said. “While this aid is critical to our ongoing efforts, we also need a long-term solution that provides healthier forests and reduces the severity of our wildfires, which is why I will continue to advocate for meaningful forest management reforms.”

Speaker Paul Ryan said, “Greg has been a strong advocate for wildfire resources for Montana in the midst of this devastating fire season. He was a leader from the West who helped make sure needed funds were provided for in this package.”

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said, “From Montana to now California, the west has faced devastating fires this year. Greg has been a fierce advocate for Congress to address the damage to our communities that are reeling from these tragic disasters. Today’s bill passage is an important step to start delivering needed resources to respond, recover, and rebuild each community affected by these fires.”

Gianforte has worked to draw Washington’s attention to wildfires in Montana.

After concluding his tour of Montana’s 56 counties and visiting five wildfire sites throughout the state, Gianforte alerted his colleagues about what Montanans faced from the House floor. Pointing to an image of a wildfire approaching Lolo, Gianforte said, “I hope this image and the others from back home will make my colleagues more aware of the fires’ devastation and the need for relief in the Treasure State.”

Video of Gianforte’s floor statement in early September may be found HERE.