Montana's Congressman, Denny Rehberg, today took steps to help those impacted by the Ash Creek Fire which continues to hold the dubious claim as the largest fire in the United States. Rehberg is organizing an informational meeting on Thursday, July 12 at 6:00 pm at the St. Labre School auditorium in Ashland.
"Those of us in the livestock business know that the problem isn't over when the last spark is extinguished," said Rehberg, a fifth-generation Montanan. "Early indications are that thousands of cattle have been displaced and are in need of food and water, and as the fires continue, it's apt to get even worse. The best defense is a good offense, so we're going to do everything we can to let folks know what their options are. We're all in this together."
Rehberg invited representatives from the Farm Service Agency, Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and National Resource Conservation Service. Earlier this week, he requested new land be made available for emergency grazing access, a request which is in the process of implementation by federal agencies.
Rehberg's letter of invitation is below:
As you are aware, the fires burning within the state are severely impacting our livestock producers. The Ash Creek Fire has already destroyed 120,000 acres of Forest Service land and 110,000 acres of private land, according to the Ashland Forest Service District Ranger. This damage has resulted in little to no forage left for grazing or hay, leaving 5785 cows and 2739 yearlings without adequate food or water.
I am writing to request your attendance at a meeting ¬conducted by my staff on Thursday, July 12 at 6:00 pm, at the St. Labre School Auditorium in Ashland to provide information to affected livestock owners on what resources are available to help them recover from the fires and prevent further losses and damages. Please contact my regional director, JT Korkow,