BOZEMAN, Mont. - The state reached a grim milestone Wednesday, as the Northern Rockies Coordination Center listed 1,093,268 acres of land have burned throughout the state during the 2017 fire season.
The area burned in Montana is larger than the state of Rhode Island, which covers 775,680 acres. The acreage burned in Montana is a little less than 1 percent of the entire land mass of our state.
At the time of the report the National Interagency Fire Center listed 23 fires larger than 100 acres burning across Montana, the most in the country.
The last time a fire season was this severe was in 2012, when 993,286 acres were burned, caused by 119 fires. It cost $113,584,191 to fight the fires, according to the NRCC.
The NRCC estimates it's cost at least $299,468,159 to fight the 139 wildland fires in 2017, which is the most expensive fire season on record for the NRCC, with records dating back to 1994.
To put that in perspective, that amount of money is enough to cover the cost of attendance for 4,217 undergraduate resident students at Montana State University.