Big Sky Roundup

Governor secures support from FEMA to fight Poverty Flats Fire

By: - July 28, 2021 5:34 pm

Fire scientists are warning people against fireworks this Fourth of July. (Provided by moein moradi via

Gov. Greg Gianforte announced Wednesday the state has secured a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) from FEMA to assist with costs associated with fighting the Poverty Flats Fire burning in Big Horn County and Crow Agency, according to a news release.

“Montana is experiencing severe fire conditions, and weather forecasts indicate that will continue for the foreseeable future,” Gianforte said in a statement. “As we face an intense competition for resources, we’re asking Montanans to help us navigate these challenging times by avoiding activities that can generate sparks and start a wildfire.”

The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation submitted Wednesday the request for firefighting assistance, and the request was approved the same afternoon by FEMA, according to the news release from the Governor’s Office.

The FMAG makes FEMA funding available to pay 75 percent of the state’s eligible firefighting costs. Eligible costs include materials and supplies, mobilization and demobilization, equipment use, and expenses for field camps.

Additionally, each FMAG generates over $550,000 in federal mitigation funding.

The Poverty Flats Fire is threatening more than 1,240 homes in and around the Crow Agency and the town of Hardin in Big Horn County. The fire is also threatening several buildings, infrastructure, utilities, equipment, and roads in the area. The fire started July 27 and has burned more than 65,000 acres and is zero percent contained.

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