Regional News

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.

Updated 1:00 p.m.

On the Sunrise Fire between Alberton and Superior: Yesterday at about 6:00 pm the Mineral County Sheriff moved both Quartz Flats and Sunrise communities into a stage 3 evacuation. A stage 3 evacuation means that the residents in those areas need to leave the area immediately. Additionally, the Sheriff moved the Verde Creek residents into stage 2, which means that those residents need to be ready to leave at a moment's notice.

Today at about 11:00 am, the Lolo National Forest issued A stage 1 evacuation notice for the Rivulet area. Stage 1 means to stay alert and keep informed of the fire.

The three biggest health insurance companies in Montana met with state insurance commissioner Matt Rosendale Wednesday to explain their price increases for 2018.

Lake County is updating its growth policy plan this summer. Tuesday, county planners hosted the last of five public meetings to hear what local residents think should be addressed in the plan due later this fall.

The county hosted a slew of open houses over the past two weeks to hear what local residents think about development, land use and protecting natural and cultural resources as Lake County continues to grow.

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.

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.

An automatic state budget cut could pull tens of millions of dollars out of the state firefighting fund as early as Tuesday.

During the legislative session earlier this year state lawmakers approved a bill that triggers budget cuts based on how much revenue is coming in.

Later today in Billings State Auditor Matt Rosendale is holding the first of two meetings to get public input on proposed health insurance prices for 2018.

The state has some regulatory authority over health plans sold to individuals and small groups, that’s about 114,000 people in Montana. That authority allows the state auditor to review, but not reject proposed prices by insurance companies.

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.

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