Montana governor mobilizes National Guard to assist with wildfires

Montana governor mobilizes National Guard to assist with wildfires
© Greg Nash

Montana Gov. Greg GianforteGregory Richard GianforteMontana governor issues rules requiring schools to consider 'parental concerns' about masks Montana Gov. Gianforte allocates more than million in federal aid for school virus testing Bipartisan governors press Biden administration on Canadian border restrictions MORE (R) has mobilized the National Guard to assist with the response to the state's wildfires.

Gianforte said in a statement that he ordered two Montana National Guard helicopter support modules, including 24 soldiers, onto State Active Duty for 15 days.

The Guard will provide one UH-60 Black Hawk crew and support personnel to operate out of Billings to support fire suppression efforts for eastern Montana. One CH-47 Chinook crew and support personnel will provide help for the western side of the state, Gianforte said.

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The mobilization comes after the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation requested military support for fire suppression efforts.

Gianforte said the National Guardsmen are “well-trained and well-prepared for this mobilization.”

“On behalf of a grateful state, I want to thank these soldiers for joining our courageous firefighters and first responders on the frontlines in our state’s wildfire response,” the governor said.

The news from the Treasure State comes amid a particularly intense start to wildfire season in the Western U.S. California and Oregon continue to endure blazes that have prompted resident evacuations. 

One wildfire in Oregon has burned almost 400,000 acres. 

Seventeen fires in Montana have burned more than 99,000 acres.