By Amanda Eggert
Montana Free Press 

Gianforte sets wildfire priorities for 'above-normal' season

With drought conditions setting the stage, the governor wants to double forest thinning, logging and prescribed burning, and pushes for fires to be 'extinguished immediately'


In a wildfire briefing at the state Capitol attended by more than a dozen land use and wildfire response agency leaders, Gov. Greg Gianforte said he wants to double the number of treated acres on Montana's forests and pressured the National Park Service to extinguish all wildfire starts on park service lands.

Gianforte said the state is undergoing a forest health crisis due to insect outbreaks, disease and heavy fuel loading that leads to an elevated wildfire risk. Increasing treatment - forest management strategies including some mix of thinning, logging and prescribed burning - on Montana...

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