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Fire in Swan Range now largest in the state

Map from A group of fires burning in the Swan Range since being ignited by a passing lightning storm earlier this month grew in dry and windy conditions Friday to become the largest fires in the state. 

The Bear Creek Fires are burning in the mountains just northwest of Condon in the Spotted Bear Ranger District of the Flathead National Forest. 

The largest of the blazes, the Bear Creek Fire now tops 18,000 acres, burning with moderate fire behavior even in the cooler weather Saturday, spreading to the east toward Meadow Mountain. 

Another combined fire, being called the Trail Creek Fire, now measures 9,000 acres near the Spotted Bear River Road. Trails, roads and a backcountry air strip have all been closed, with firefighters wrapping some backcountry structures to protect them from the flames.