With smoky skies clearing over western Montana on Monday, Gov. Steve Bullock heard from fire officials the impact of thinly stretched resources as he toured helicopter operations fighting fires in northwestern Montana.

Along with U.S. Forest Service and Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation fire crews, the Montana Army National Guard assigned both Blackhawk and Chinook helicopters to the  Kootenai Complex fires following the governor’s declaration of a fire emergency. Chinooks had spent 18 days on the fires, dropping nearly two million gallons of water.

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