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  Burns' fire request comes late
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Last EditedRP  Sep 05, 2006 01:24pm
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News DateFriday, September 1, 2006 07:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionU.S. Sen. Conrad Burns urged Gov. Brian Schweitzer to declare a fire state of emergency Thursday and activate the Montana Army National Guard for firefighting - more than a month after Schweitzer had already done so.

In a brief letter faxed to the governor's office Thursday, Burns, a Republican up for re-election in November, expressed his concern for the gravity of the 80,000-acre Derby fire in Stillwater and Sweet Grass counties.

"Entire ranches have been consumed and homes have been lost," Burns wrote. "Based on these conditions, I am requesting that you declare a state of emergency."

Schweitzer declared just such a state of emergency on July 11 - thus, activating the Montana Army National Guard. He issued a second declaration on Aug. 11.
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