HELENA, Mont. — Gov. Steve Bullock says $200,000 in emergency energy assistance funding will be released to assist eligible families on three Montana Indian reservations hit hard this winter.

State officials have received reports that some residents of the Blackfeet, Fort Belknap and Northern Cheyenne reservations have exhausted their ability to pay extra high heat bills, or purchase propane or firewood.

In addition, officials with all three of the Tribal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Programs say they have already or will soon exhaust their crisis funds due to the increased need.

Blackfeet Tribal Chairman Harry Barnes says the energy assistance funding is timely and much appreciated.