The eastern half of the state is gripped by the most severe drought in the nation. Farmers there lost nearly $400 million dollars worth of crops last month, when compared to the previous July. That’s according to figures from the U.S. Forest Service. And the state’s wildfire season is costing Montanans more than a million dollars a day.
“This has been a difficult year,” Democratic Governor Steve Bullock says. “And by some estimates our fire seasons are now about 78 days longer than they were two decades ago.”
He says he hopes this isn’t the new normal, but if it is, the state needs to face reality.
“To not acknowledge or deal with our changing climate in a responsible way is shortsighted and dangerous,” Bullock says.