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Bridger Foothills Fire

Unit Information

Custer Gallatin National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
10 East Babcock Ave.
Bozeman, MT 59771

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Bridger Foothills Fire - Morning Update - September 6, 2020

Bridger Foothills Fire Wildfire
News – 9/6/2020

Bridger Foothills Fire

Morning Update - September 6, 2020

Start date:  September 4, 2020

Location:  NE of Bozeman, MT, approx. 2.5 miles up from M parking lot, near Bridger Foothills Trail.

Cause:  Under Investigation

Total Personnel: 120

Current Size:  7000 acres

Containment: 0%

Inciweb:  https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7144/

Hwy 86/Bridger Canyon Road is closed: Story Mill to Sedan,

including Kelly Canyon and Jackson Creek Road.

Evacuations in effect for Kelly Canyon, Jackson Creek and all of Bridger Canyon. 

Skunk Creek Road under evacuation warning.  Evacuation warning likely – Brackett Creek.  

People who have not been evacuated are urged to voluntarily leave the area until it is safe to return.  

Forest Area Closures: All roads and trails in the Bridgers and Bangtails are closed.

A virtual public meeting is planned for 2:30 p.m., Sunday, September 6.  Tune in live on the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office Page, Event details at:  https://www.facebook.com/events/3292595377495822/

Resources Assigned: Type 1 IMT ordered, single engine air tankers available, 6 helicopters dropping water and providing structure protection, Midnight Sun Interagency Hotshot Crew, 3 Type II handcrews, multiple structure protection strike teams/engines, smokejumpers, dozers and more resources on order.  

Current Status: The Bridger Foothills Fire had an extremely active day on Saturday with high temps, low relative humidity and sustained winds 10-20 mph, gusts to 30 mph and a cold front passage.  The fire grew from an estimated 400 acres to 7,000 acres.  An infrared aviation flight mapping the fire perimeter occurred overnight to provide a more accurate perimeter of activity from Saturday.  The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office and Structure protection on the fire has confirmed structures have been impacted and lost.  Follow-up with homeowners will be done as soon as possible.  Firefighters will be assessing structures and providing protection today.  People who have not been evacuated are urged to voluntarily leave the area until it is safe to return.  

Planned Actions:  After extreme fire behavior on Saturday, firefighters are on the line and are engaging the fire where it is safe to do so.  Direct handline construction will proceed on the heel of the fire (southwestern) and working north.  Structure protection will occur ahead of the fire and firefighters will be returning to residences to assess and provide structure protection where the fire passed through.  A Type I Incident Management Team is incoming and will be inbriefing at 10:00 Monday, September 7, 2020.  Heavy equipment will be utilized where needed to continue to secure a line and mop-up around structures and prevent any reburn.  Public and firefighter life and safety is the utmost priority.    


Injuries:  On Saturday two separate events took place.  One confirmed injury due do a rolling rock to a firefighter was confirmed.  The individual has been treated and released.  

A separate incident occurred with three firefighters in a position that they felt they needed to deploy their fire shelters as is trained for.  At a later time, the firefighters came out of their shelters and were able to move to a safe area.  The individuals are currently being treated at Bozeman Health for smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion and have been released.  They are otherwise in good condition and will be rejoining their families as soon as possible.

Public and firefighter life and safety is the utmost priority and actions taking place today will follow that primary principle.      

Weather:  A cold front occurred over the fire area on Saturday, with an additional cold front expected Sunday.  Temperatures on Sunday will be 78-83 with relative humidity at 20-24%.  A significant cool down is expected overnight and into Monday.  Overnight temps at 43-46, relative humidity recovery at 83-91%.  Monday temperatures will be 44-49 and rain showers likely.