VIDEO: After 15 years, the U.S. Forest Service has committed to funding the Basin Creek Watershed fuel mitigation project.
Butte-Silver Bow Chief Executive J.P. Gallagher says thanks to the efforts of Senator Jon Tester, U.S. Forest Service Chief Randy Moore has committed to funding the mitigation project later this year. "We’ve been working extremely hard to make sure that everybody understands the dangers that we have and I don’t know if there’s many other places that have a municipal water source in such dire need because of the ongoing fire danger that we have," said Gallagher.
Sixty percent of Butte’s potable water comes from the Basin Creek Reservoir. The pipes in the water treatment plant help clean Butte’s drinking water, but if a wildfire were to happen near the reservoir, the pipes and the entire $30 million facility could be rendered unusable.
The buildup of ash and sediment that would run into the watershed could damage the pipes. Fixing the damage would take years and cost millions of dollars.