A man was flown to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital after an ATV caught fire in the Bridger Mountains Monday afternoon.

According to the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office,  two 24-year-old males were driving a side-by-side ATV on a jeep trail north of Flathead Pass in the Bridger Mountains when the ATV caught fire. The fire spread so rapidly that the driver was unable escape before being burned over a large portion of his body, face, arms, and legs. The other man wasn't able to call for help because they were out of cell range, but he was able to send a text message to a friend asking for help.

While ground crews worked their way across difficult terrain toward the scene from both the west and east side of the mountains, two helicopters located the scene from a distance after seeing the large burnt spot left by the ATV fire.

The Rocky Mountain Rotors helicopter dropped a two-man rescue crew near the victim and provided first aid. The Life Flight helicopter was not able to safely land due to terrain and weather conditions, so the man had to be shuttled to the Life Flight helicopter where it was landed a mile away. The man was then taken by Life Flight to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital.

Sheriff Gootkin would like to remind people to try text messaging even if they are out of voice call range. Often times the text message will go through where there is no voice call coverage. Most phones will tell you if text has been successfully sent. If you run into trouble and can request help via text message, be sure to include your location and the nature of the problem. Stay where you are so rescuers can communicate with you via text message.

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