Scooper plane, Holter Reservoir

A super scooper airplane skims water on Holter Reservoir over the weekend before making a return flight to the Alice Creek fire burning northeast of Lincoln.

BROCK LONG

HELENA — The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved disaster assistance for three large western Montana wildfires.

FEMA funding is available to pay 75 percent of the state's eligible firefighting costs for fires near Lincoln, Seeley Lake and Libby. The grants can help with expenses for fire camps, equipment, tools, materials and supplies. They do not help individual home or business owners or infrastructure damage.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock met with FEMA administrator Brock Long on Thursday and asked him to exempt Montana from some of the requirements to qualify for fire management assistance grants and to expedite the state's grant requests when they were filed. Montana's Congressional delegation also requested the funding.

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West Fork Fire

The West Fork fire is pictured in this photo posted Friday on Inciweb

FEMA earlier approved grants for fighting fires in eastern Montana and one near Lolo after initially denying the request.

Montana has spent more than $50 million on fire suppression since early July.

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