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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 AM Update 9/9

Bridger Foothills Fire Wildfire
News – 9/9/2020

Bridger Foothills Fire Morning Update

September 9, 2020 - 8:30 a.m.

Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team - Dan Dallas, Incident Commander

Information Center: 406-219-7052 (8:00 am to 8:00 pm)

Media Inquiries: 406-219-7136

InciWeb:       Email:

Bridger Foothills Fire Story Map:

Special Notes:
The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office will hold a “Relief, Recovery, and Support Day” for those directly impacted by the fire at Gallatin County Fairgrounds on Wednesday, Sept. 9 from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm. For further information see

The Gallatin County Sheriff will allow residents to return to their homes in the area south of DP30 (the intersection of Jackson Creek and Bridger Canyon roads) at 10am today. Note that the speed limit on Bridger Canyon Rd. is 35mph. It is signed and patrolled. Residents should expect to see smoke and interior burning for some time. Further details for returning residents can be found here:

Gallatin County, Montana DNRC, Custer Gallatin National Forest, and the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team continue with their strong partnership efforts in suppressing this wildfire and assisting residents affected by the fire.

Current Situation:
The wet conditions yesterday allowed firefighters to make significant progress on securing the fire edge. Containment remains at 0% but should increase rapidly over the next few days.

On the southwest side of the fire in Division A, crews will be inserted by air and spike out along the fire perimeter; they will begin securing the fire’s edge to the north. In Division D (west side of the fire) crews will fly into Baldy Mountain to begin building direct handline towards the south with plans to meet up with crews from Division A. Division Y and the Structure Group will be working from the Bridger Canyon Fire station to the Beasely Creek Road checking and securing structures
and conducting hazard mitigation. In Division H (east and north side of the fire), crews will be hot-spotting, cold-trailing, and building handline as needed. On the north side of the fire firefighters will continue to scout opportunities for direct line construction around the “fingers” and “horseshoe” in the fire perimeter. Hand and dozer lines were started yesterday and will continue over the next 3-4 days.

A radio repeater was flown to Baldy Mountain yesterday to enhance communications for crews working the west side of the fire in coming days.

The Gallatin County Sheriff announced at yesterday evening’s virtual public meeting that 28 residences and an unknown number of outbuildings have been damaged or destroyed in the fire. Follow-up and support to homeowners will
continue as needed.

Weather & Fuel Conditions:
Fire behavior will be very limited on the fire today. Last night’s temperatures dropped into the mid-20s to low-30s. Temperatures today will reach highs of 49-55 degrees with minimum humidity at 29-34%.
NE winds at 3-7 mph in the morning will shift to upslope/up-valley in the afternoon but stay under 10mph. Burning conditions, including potential spread, will be slightly lower for the next two days. Heavy fuels will continue to smoke but spread through fine fuels will be limited. Conditions will continue to be very favorable for mop-up today. A gradual warming and drying trend will continue through the remainder of the week with generally light winds. Temperatures will warm into
the 80s by Saturday with 90s possible early next week. 

Despite the precipitation over the fire area, heavy fuels remain dry inside and continue to burn. Light fuels will dry quickly as the warming trend continues.

Evacuations and Warnings:
The area south of DP30 (the intersection of Jackson Creek and Bridger Canyon roads) is going to be reopened and repopulated starting at 10am today. Note that the speed limit is 35mph. It is signed and patrolled. For further details on these openings see the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page at or

  As of 10:00 a.m. today, there will be changes in the road closures for Bridger Canyon Road and Jackson Creek Road. For details on these closures see this link: Bridger Canyon Drive Boylan to Brackett Creek Road is closed to the public and Bridger Canyon Drive from Boylan to Jackson Creek Road is open to residents only. The area closure for the Custer Gallatin National Forest is listed on the Forest Facebook page:

Bridger Foothills Fire Statistics:

Size: approximately 7,138 acres

Containment: 0%

Total Personnel: approximately 300

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

Reported: September 4, 2020

Cause: Under investigation

Resources Include: Air resources include 2 incident helicopters and 3 shared T1 helicopters if needed. Other personnel and equipment include 2 Interagency Hotshot (Type 1) hand crews, 9 Type 2 hand crews, 13 engines, 3 water tenders, and 2 dozers. Additional resources are on order.

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