Bridger Foothills Fire prompts evacuations; Red Cross opens shelter

Posted at 5:18 PM, Sep 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-05 19:18:59-04

GALLATIN COUNTY — Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin confirmed in a press conference on Saturday that evacuations are underway in Bridger Canyon due to the Bridger Foothills Fire.

Residents of Jackson Creek Road to I-90 are also being asked to evacuate as soon as possible.

The Sheriff's Office said in a press release that residents of Bridger Canyon who have not been contacted by the office yet are asked to evacuate voluntarily. Residents were warned before the evacuations.

From Story Mill Road to Sedan, Bridger Canyon Road is closed, and people are asked to stay off the road, the release says. Sheriff's deputies are diverting traffic away from Bridger Canyon on both sides of the closure. Park County sheriff's deputies are stationed in Sedan and are turning away motorists.

People are asked not to call 9-1-1 unless the fire directly impacts them, because dispatchers are overwhelmed with calls, according to the release.

The Red Cross has opened an evacuation center for anyone displaced by the Bridger Foothills Fire at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Bozeman. Families in need of services can call the Montana Red Cross at (800) 272-6668.

Gov. Steve Bullock announced in a press release on Saturday that Montana has secured funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help with costs from fighting the fire. The assistance will come from a Federal Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) and makes FEMA funding available to pay 75% of the state’s eligible firefighting costs.

According to the press release, "eligible costs include materials and supplies, mobilization and demobilization, equipment use, and expenses for field camps."

The release said each FMAG is eligible for over $450,000 in federal mitigation funding.

“I appreciate FEMA’s quick response to providing this assistance and to the firefighters working diligently to keep the community of Bozeman safe,” Bullock said. “We ask that Montanans continue to stay safe, stay informed, and take every precaution to prevent a wildfire – especially with the potential for critical fire weather conditions.”

The Bridger Foothills Fire started on September 4 and has burned more than 475 acres and threatens more than 250 homes around Bozeman. It is 0% contained.

We will update you when we learn more.