Governor Steve Bullock recently sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack highlighting his frustrations with unnecessary restrictions on state efforts to combat wildfires in the state, and urging Vilsack to direct leadership within federal agencies to rescind those obstructions.

“I am doing my part to mobilize every available firefighting resource at my disposal, and make them available to all fire protection agencies,” Bullock said in his letter. “I encourage you to do your part by directing leadership within your respective agencies to rescind this unnecessary and artificial restriction on Montana aircraft as soon as possible.”

In his letter, Bullock highlighted instances where firefighters in state aircraft spotted fires on federal land, but were instructed by federal firefighting officials to not take efforts to combat the fires due to the fact that the fires were in federal jurisdiction.