UPDATE November 6th, 11 a.m. 

Overnight the Porcupine Wildfire continued to smolder with some smoke and flames.  Firefighters are focused on the northern sections of the fire due to windy conditions.
The Porcupine Wildfire was originally thought to have started from a prescribed burn in the same area.  Due to the distance between the wildfire and the prescribed burn, there is an investigation to determine the cause of the fire.

A wildland fire began burning south of Big Sky across from Ophir on Thursday around 1:15 p.m. First responders from Bozeman Fire, Big Sky Fire, Yellowstone Club Fire, Hyalite Fire, Department of Natural Resouces and Conservation, Montana Highway Patrol, the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office, and the U.S. Forest Service have been working the fire.

Big Sky Fire announced that the Custer Gallatin National Forest had a planned burn just above and just south of Porcupine Creek, essentially across from Ophir School. The burn got out of control due to wind and fuel conditions and is now reported at 400 acres according to a press release from the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office. At this time it is not clear how many acres were part of the prescribed burn.

The fire has burned part of the Porcupine Creek Wilderness Area and started at a rapid pace, but as of late Thursday afternoon had slowed down. By Thursday night Custer Gallatin National Forest reported the fire was 30% contained. Currently, there are no reported structural losses.

An emergency alert was issued Thursday afternoon when the fire began spreading North rapidly towards the canyon.

US 191 is currently open according to the Montana Department of Transportation. Thursday afternoon, due to the fire, US 191 was also closed northbound at the US 287 juncture. Traffic was being rerouted through Ennis according to KBZK TV.

Photo courtesy of James Swingle