A new report by researchers at the University of Montana shows the loss of business revenues related to wildfires was likely even greater than most might have suspected. With more than a million acres burning — most in Western Montana following lightning storms in mid-July — the smoke, fire and evacuations couldn’t have hit at a worse time for Montana’s tourism industry. UM’s Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research estimates the state lost up to 800,000 visitors, costing Montana more than $240 million.

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