Terrain Satellite
Bridger Foothills
4.2 mi
NE of Bozeman, MT
Last Updated:
29 mins, 4 secs ago
Incident #:
Fire Start:
Friday, September 4, 2020 4:01 PM MDT
Fire Unit:
US Forest Service — Custer Gallatin National Forest
Dispatch Notes:
Usfs - 1425 acrespvt - 6799 acres

Current Weather

Fire Growth Potential

Fire Weather Forecast

Incident Overview Updated: 3 hours ago

Incident Photo for the Bridger Foothills Fire

The Bridger Foothills Fire was detected around 3:00 pm on Friday, September 4, 2020. The lightning caused fire was the result of a storm several days prior, in late August. The fire is located approximately 2.5 miles northeast of Bozeman, Montana. Initial attack forces from local fire departments, US Forest Service and cooperators responded immediately, but were unsuccessful in halting the fire given the extreme dry conditions. By Friday night the fire had grown to approximately 400 acres. 
Local resources attempted extended attack that Saturday, but a frontal passage with strong winds pushed the fire to an estimated 7000 acres. During this major push by the fire, the Gallatin County Sheriff initiated evacuations in the Bridger Canyon area, along with road closures. The Custer Gallatin National Forest implemented an area closure within and to the north of the fire. Exceeding the capacity of local resources to contain the fire, authorities ordered a National Type 1 Incident Management Team. The Rocky Mountain Area Type 1 team was ordered and assumed command of the fire on Monday morning, September 7.

  On Sunday, September 20 the Northern Rockies Type 2, Incident Management Team 5 transferred command of the fire back to a local Type 3 team. Resources are being released as appropriate to right-size the incident.

Clear skies expected for the week. High temperatures are forecast to be in the 60s and low 70s. Low RHs (in the teens) are expected Tuesday. No precipitation is forecast for the week.

Large fuels will continue to smolder, and creeping fire behavior is expected in duff and lighter fuels. Isolated smokes may be visible in the interior.

For current fire size, containment, and suppression activities, please see the daily fire updates posted under the “News” tab above.

For updated evacuation and road closure information see the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/gallatincountysheriffsoffice/ or https://www.gallatinmedia.org/ 

Basic Information

Incident Type:
Date of Origin:
Friday September 04th, 2020 approx. 03:00 PM
Three miles northeast of Bozeman, MT.
Incident Commander:
Bob Culbreth; Caleb Schreiber (T)
Incident Description:
45.72, -110.974

Current Situation

Total Personnel:
Size (Acres):
Estimated Containment Date:
Friday October 30th, 2020 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved:
Timber (Litter and Understory)
Short Grass (1 foot)
Brush (2 feet)
Mixed conifer stands at higher elevations have not burned in recorded history and consequently have heavy fuel loads.
Fine fuels are becoming receptive late morning with continued drying. Heavier fuels are retaining heat and are expected to continue to consume.
Significant Events:
Minimal fire behavior, creeping and smoldering. Some smoke observed from stump holes and smoldering duff, occasional interior smokes.

Planned Outlook

Planned Actions:
Crews continue to patrol and "mop-up" hot spots interior as appropriate to secure the fire perimeter, and complete suppression repair. The incident will continue to release resources as appropriate to "right size" the fire.
Projected Incident Activity:
12 hours: Sunny, with a high near 77. Light and variable wind becoming west northwest 5 to 9 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 18 mph.
24 hours: Sunny, with a high near 77. Calm wind becoming west northwest 5 to 7 mph in the afternoon.
48 hours: Sunny, with a high near 70. Calm wind becoming west northwest around 6 mph in the afternoon.
72 hours: Sunny, with a high near 74. Light and variable wind becoming west northwest around 5 mph in the afternoon.
Projected after 72 hours: Mostly sunny, with a high near 73. South wind around 6 mph becoming west northwest in the afternoon.
Gallatin County Sheriff's Office will be continuing facilitating repopulation of previously evacuated areas. Transfer of command to a Type 3 team occured Sunday 9/20 at 0600.
Land Ownership Breakdown: Private (Gallatin County): 6,799/ USFS 1,425.

Weather Synopsis

Weather Concerns:
Forecasted:Clear skies expected for the week. High temperatures
are forecast to be in the 60s and low 70s. Low RHs (in the teens)
expected Tuesday. No precipitation forecast for the week.

Incident Contact

Incident Contact
Fire Information Line
Email: 2020.bridgerfoothills@firenet.gov
Phone: 406-219-7052
Hours: 8 am - 8 pm
Fire Unit Information
Custer Gallatin National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
10 East Babcock Ave.
Bozeman, MT 59771

Dispatch Contact

Bozeman Interagency Dispatch Center | Bozeman, MT
Phone: 406-624-3830
Website: https://gacc.nifc.gov/nrcc/dc/mtbzc/index.htm