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Wildland fire south of Big Sky 30% contained
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Wildland fire south of Big Sky 30% contained

Porcupine fire

The Porcupine fire grew to about 100 acres Thursday and neared about 30% containment on Friday.

A 400-acre wildland fire burning near Big Sky is at 30% containment as officials investigate the fire's cause.

The Porcupine fire broke out on Thursday afternoon about one mile south of the Highway 191 and Highway 64 junction in Big Sky near the Porcupine Trailhead. It grew little overnight, remaining at about 400 acres.

Crews from Yellowstone Club and Big Sky Fire Departments, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, and Custer Gallatin National Forest were on scene Friday. 

Friday crews including five engines, 28 forest service personnel and one helicopter continued suppression efforts focusing on the north and northeastern portions of the fire, according to a press release from the Custer Gallatin National Forest.

The Porcupine fire started about a mile away from a controlled burn being conducted by the Custer Gallatin National Forest. Prescribed burning activities have been halted. An investigation is being conducted into the fire's cause.

Fires so late in the fall are unusual. On Nov. 11, 2007, the Chi Chi fire ignited on the Custer Gallatin National Forest in the foothills of the Crazy Mountains. Pushed by 80 to 100 mph winds it grew to more than 40,000 acres as it raced toward the community of Melville. The fire burned three homes.

Montana is supposed to cool down and could see snow going into the weekend which could help suppress the fire, although Friday is forecast to be windy.

Gallatin County is currently under a winter storm watch from the National Weather Service for heavy snow Saturday evening going into Sunday.

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Day General Assignment Reporter

General assignment reporter for The Billings Gazette.

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