On Friday, it will be four weeks to the day that the Bridger Foothills Fire started just above the "M" Trail in Bozeman. It was late afternoon when it was first reported, and by the next day, homes would be destroyed all along the east side of the Bridger Mountains in Bridger Canyon.

On September 5th, the day after the fire began, the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office reports that the fire went from approximately 400 acres to over 7000 in a 6-hour period. "This type of wind and fire behavior is extremely fast and dangerous," said Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin in a press release. "When you combine the canyon topography with residences located on long winding roads surrounded by forest, warnings and evacuations were extremely dangerous and difficult.

Here are some stats on the Bridger Foothills Fire provided by the sheriff's department.

  • The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office warned and/or evacuated a total of 728 residences and 1674 people.
  • 588 residences (1352 people) in Gallatin County
  • 140 residences (322 people) in Park County
  • The evacuation area (without Bracket Creek/Skunk Creek) is 165 sq miles – see map below.


  • 28 homes lost
  • 3 injuries, all firefighters
  • 0 lives lost

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office had 42 deputies (out of 62) working the fire, totaling approximately 800 overtime hours on top of regular hours worked.

The following law enforcement agencies assisted in fighting the Bridger Foothills Fire providing, roadblocks and traffic control:

  • Park County Sheriff’s Office
  • Sweetgrass County Sheriff’s Office
  • Carbon County Sheriff’s Office
  • Bozeman Police Department
  • MSU Police Department
  • Montana Highway Patrol
  • U.S. Forest Service.
Map provided by Gallatin Co Sheriff's Dept
Map provided by Gallatin Co Sheriff's Dept

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