Montana Wildfire Update:
Our thoughts are with all who are affected by the Montana wildfires. Over 500,000 acres have been burned by the Montana wildfires so far this summer. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Agricultural Secretary Sonny Perdue traveled to Zinke’s home state of Montana on Thursday to join members of Montana’s Republican delegation for an on-site briefing on a large wildfire south of Missoula, which the group blamed not chiefly on drought and climate change, but on mismanagement resulting from lawsuits by “environmental extremists.” However, the Trump administration has not used the world’s largest firefighting aircraft in Montana because of budget concerns within the National Forest Service. The aircraft is nicknamed the SuperTanker, can drop almost twice as much fire retardant as the largest airtanker currently in service. The supertanker can drop more than 19,000 gallons of water or retardant at a time. The SuperTanker cost about $250,000 a day to operate.