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Interior announces $79 million for wildfire mitigation and recovery

Volunteer firefighters
Posted at 6:17 AM, Apr 10, 2024

HELENA — The Department of the Interior (DOI) announced Monday $79 million in funding to expand wildfire detection, reduce the threat of severe fires, rehabilitate burned areas, and purchase new technology for fire management teams.

According to the release, this round of funding is in addition to the $780 million previously allocated by DOI under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Interior officials say $57.2 million will go to rehabilitate burned areas. The work includes revegetation efforts with locally adapted native seeds and plants.

The Department of the Interior will spend $11 million to expand and grow fuel management projects-including the use of prescribed fire and chemical treatments of invasive species.

Another $10.5 million has been allocated toward technology and personnel to improve detection and response. That includes new radios for communication and additional people to analyze data from remote weather stations and other sensors.

The department also noted that the 2022 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law created the Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission. Last fall the commission released nearly 150 recommendations for wildfire response and recovery. Some of those recommendations are addressed in this recent round of funding.