Environment & Energy

The U.S. government has reversed its earlier decision to deny a request for aid to help pay for fighting Montana’s largest wildfire.

FEMA approved the state's grant application today to Montana Disaster and Emergency Services.

Montana faces twin threats this summer: On land, crews are battling some of the biggest and most destructive fires in the country. In the water, officials are staving off the spread of invasive mussels that could cause millions of dollars of damage to hydropower dams and irrigation lines. These threats come together for wildland firefighters, who often use equipment that travels across the country and has the potential to carry invasive hitchhikers with it. But firefighters are tackling the potential contamination head on.

While Native Americans may be underrepresented in the "hard sciences," Jade Johnson would argue that now, more than ever, Native scientists are needed to make sure environmental issues don’t get swept under the rug or forgotten.

Johnson, a member of Navajo Nation, is an undergraduate chemistry student at San Diego State University. This summer, she’s doing research at the University of Montana. It’s not the first time she’s done something like this.

Lodgepole Complex Fire Managers

The nation’s biggest wildfire may be fully contained within a week.

According to Rick Connell, incident commander for the Lodgepole Complex fire in eastern Montana, everything is “looking pretty good.”

Flickr Creative Commons

The Bureau of Land Management estimates that there are about 50% higher than average fine fuel loads in the Big Horn Basin.

Coupled with dry conditions, Northern Wyoming land is right now extremely vulnerable to wildfires.

That's why there are two public sessions this week and next that will help rural landowners prepare for fire devastation.

This summer one tiny-shelled invertebrate has dominated the conversation about keeping non-native species out of Montana.

Since zebra and quagga mussel larvae were detected in Tiber Reservoir last summer, local, state, tribal and federal agencies have scrambled to enact programs and policies to keep the mussels out of Montana’s waterways.

The Garfield County Sheriff is lifting the evacuations for property owners in the Lodgepole Complex Fire area. That’s thanks to more favorable weather conditions that have allowed firefighters from 34 states to make some progress on trying to contain the massive 390 square mile fire.

Nate Hegyi

Brie Ripley interviews YPR reporter Nate Hegyi who is onsite at the Lodgepole Complex fire, the largest wildfire in the country at 353 sq. miles.

Greater Eagle Fire Department

The largest wildfire in the nation burns right now in Montana, and it's the size of New York City. The 353 square mile Lodgepole Complex fire is burning in Garfield and Petroleum counties of eastern Montana.

Paul Enenbach / Flickr Creative Commons

A coal power plant owes $2 million in property taxes to Big Horn County in southern Montana.

Billings Gazette reporter Matt Hudson has been following this story for nearly a year, and shares insights on the latest in late payments.

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