What started out as some smoke above the "M" Trail on Friday in Bozeman, turned into a 7,100 acre fire. By Saturday afternoon, the Bridger Foothills Fire, fueled by record high temperatures and strong winds, would make its way to the east side of the Bridger Mountains forcing evacuations up Bridger Canyon. Dozens of homes would be consumed in the blaze, as would cattle and other wild animals.

On Monday, Mother Nature stepped in bringing rain and even some snow to help firefighters battling the blaze. Here are some photos taken over the course of the past three days of the Bridger Foothills Fire.

As always, the Bozeman community stepped up to help those fighting the fire, as well as those displaced by the fire. People offered vehicles to move animals to people they didn't even know, while thousands of others brought water, food, and other supplies to make sure firefighters had water to drink and some food to eat. It was amazing to watch and appreciated by all who are on the receiving end.

As you can imagine, there will be many in need once the smoke clears, having lost their homes, vehicles, and personal possessions. To that end a community fundraising effort has been launched to rapidly mobilize financial resources to meet the needs of individuals, families, and agencies impacted by the Bridger Foothills Fire.

The creation of the Bridger Foothills Fire Relief Fund is a joint effort between the Southwest Montana Community Organizations Active in Disaster (SWMT COAD), Greater Gallatin United Way, and One Valley Community Foundation to streamline financial support and direct it to people affected by the fire who need funding most. Funding will also be distributed to agencies supporting fire relief efforts.

If you would like to make a monetary donation to the Bridger Foothills Fire Relief Fund, text BRIDGERS to 91999. You can also make a donation online using the button below.

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