While the Howe Ridge fire in Glacier National Park is the largest fire in Montana right now, the Goldstone fire still burning in the Big Hole on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, 18 miles south of Jackson is the state’s second largest. According to Fire Information Officer Bill Morrision, the fire hasn’t budged for the past few days despite a radical swing in conditions.

"The beauty is we had two days of red flag weather and winds pushing the Goldstone fire up against our controls lines east on the 181 Bloody Dick road," Morrison said. "It held perfectly well. Then we had over half an inch of rain that went on to the fire, which really put a hold on any action."

The Goldstone Fire Incident Management team will leave Montana today and turnover responsibility to a group from the National Forest Service. Morrison says the crew is excited to head home.

"It was over 9,000 acres but it hasn't grown in acreage in several days," Morrison said. "We are very confident at this point that it is not going to. We are heading back down to the southwest. Most of us are from the Arizona and New Mexico area. Our fire season ends. We are kind of like a traveling circus. We started in April and we are finishing up August 31."

Only two Montana fires this year have grown over 9,000 acres. In 2017 there were 24 fires at least that size and two fires, the Lodgepole Complex near Jordan and the Rice Ridge Fire near Seeley Lake grew to over 100,000 acres

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