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Crews Respond To Late Season Wildfires In Montana

In the foreground, dried out grasses and a river. Beyond, the grass is burned against a backdrop of forested hills.
Gallatin County Sheriff's Office
The approximately 100 acre Porcupine Wildfire burns south of Big Sky on Nov. 05, 2020.

Crews are responding to a few wildfires across Montana.

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office has issued evacuation warning notifications for 33 residences south of Big Sky as local, state and U.S. Forest Service crews work to suppress the approximately 100 acre Porcupine Wildfire.

The Custer Gallatin National Forest says the wildfire is burning in meadows and timber about one mile south of the Highway 191 and Highway 64 junction in Big Sky, on the east side of the Gallatin River.

Due to wind and fuel conditions, the fire moved at a rapid pace north but has since slowed down.

The Porcupine Fire is more than a mile away from a prescribed burn started earlier in the day by the Bozeman Ranger District in an effort to regenerate aspen stands.

The Forest Service says there may be a connection between the wildfire and prescribed burn but a fire investigation is still underway.

People in Gallatin County can sign up for the Community Notification System to receive emergency information such as pre-evacuation notices.

In Lewis and Clark County, crews are also working on the estimated 25-acre Campbell Fire burning on private land near the Gates of the Mountain boat launch. Chris Spliethof with the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation says crews are optimistic they’ll contain the fire Thursday, and he isn’t aware of any threatened structures.

He says crews Thursday already contained two other nearby fires west of Interstate 15 in the McCleod Basin area that were started by a slash pile and hunter fire, respectively.

Spliethof reminds Montanans to put their fires out cold to the touch, as the county is seeing warm, breezy weather and dry conditions.