Here's the latest Montana fire news, as of Friday.

How you can help: Here is information on how to help. And even more info on how to help.

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Backburn backfired? Mark Stermitz said the house his family moved into in 2010 was built to be defensible if a wildfire roared through Macintosh Manor. But when the Lolo Peak fire did just that on Aug. 17, blowing up by another 9,010 acres overnight, his was one of two homes that was destroyed.

Mark Stermitz

Homeowner Mark Stermitz points to the hillside where he suspects embers from the backburn lit by fire crews landed.

Home threatened: As they desperately tried to save their home in Macintosh Manor last month from a backburn lit on the Lolo Peak fire, Michelle and Dan Shrug said nearby firefighters refused to lift a hand to help them. “To my utter disbelief, no one was laying down lines or helping us. They just stood around their vehicles doing nothing.”

It's snowing! Rain and even snow arrived on schedule Thursday as the National Weather Service out of Missoula posted a banner on its webpage that read “Farewell to summer.” Fires up and over the Continental Divide were hit first.

Beartooth Pass closed: Ice and blowing snow resulted in the closure of the Beartooth Pass from Vista Point and through to the Wyoming border on Friday.

Snow arrives: Snow in September never looked so good. Here's what people are saying on social media about it. 

Fight fire with science: A guest opinion in the Billings Gazette says it's human nature to look for someone or something to blame, "such as environmentalists or the Forest Service. But the fact is we can't log our way out, we can't fight our way out; we can only burn our way out through ongoing fuels treatments. Forest management is complex."

Record fires: The Forest Service has spent more than $2 billion battling forest fires around the country — a record as wildfires blacken the American West in one of the nation's worst fire seasons.

Wildfire photos: Our photographers have been documenting this summer's fire season and its effects. Here are the photos.

 

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