Classes at the University of Montana get underway on August 31, but students who are wildland firefighters have been granted extra time to register.

Registrar for the University of Montana, Joe Hickman, said school officials are working in conjunction with the governor's office.

"The commissioner's office for the university system has declared, working with the governor's office, since a state of emergency was declared for the fire season this year and they're mobilizing the National Guard," Hickman said. "Because of that, they've allowed extra time, through September 5th, for firefighters to finish up their time of the fire lines and get to class."

Hickman said the university has made special arrangements to help the firefighters.

"We've set up a firefighter hotline," he said. "We haven't had to do this for a number of years, since about 2013, and it's a place where firefighters can call in and give us their basic information, their name their ID number, what agency they're working for, whether they're in residence life housing or not. We'll make sure their professors are notified and that residence life are notified so that their classes are held for them."

The Commissioner of Higher Education has allowed the firefighters until September 5 to register for their classes.

"And, if they're not able to attend, we'll help them withdraw from their classes and hope they'll be back for the next term," he said.

To take advantage of the extended deadlines and reserve space in courses for which they are registered, UM students who are fighting fires must call 406-243-6599 by Wednesday, Aug. 30.


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