Fires in Glacier National Park, Montana. Fast-moving forest fires raced through Glacier National Park in northeast Montana on July 25, 2003. The fires (marked in red) forced thousands of tourists and staff to evacuate Glacier National Park (image center). This image of the fires was captured on July 25, 2003, by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite.
Montana is the fourth-largest in area, the 8th least populous, and the third-least densely populated of the 50 U.S. states. The western half of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller island ranges are found throughout the state. In all, 77 named ranges are part of the Rocky Mountains. The eastern half of Montana is characterized by western prairie terrain and badlands. Montana is bordered by Idaho to the west, Wyoming to the south, North Dakota and South Dakota to the east, and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan to the north.
The economy is primarily based on agriculture, including ranching and cereal grain farming. Other significant economic resources include oil, gas, coal, hard rock mining, and lumber. The health care, service, and government sectors also are significant to the state’s economy.