Firefighters deploy fire shelters on a wildfire near Bozeman, Montana

Bridger Foothills Fire

September 6, 2020 | 2:03 p.m. MDT

Bridger Foothills Fire map
Bridger Foothills Fire, map current at 9:26 p.m. MDT Sept 5, 2020.

Three firefighters on the Bridger Foothills Fire northeast of Bozeman, Montana were forced to deploy and take refuge in their fire shelters September 5 when their safety became compromised by the proximity of the fire, fire officials said Sunday. After the danger passed they moved to a safety zone and were later treated at Bozeman Health for “smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion” and then released. They are otherwise in good condition and will be rejoining their families as soon as possible.

Fire shelters are small foldable pup tent-like fire resistant devices that a wildland firefighter can unfold and climb into if there is no option for escaping from an approaching inferno. Many firefighters have used the devices successfully, but others have been killed inside them.

The Bridger Foothills Fire is three miles northeast of the intersection of Highway 86 (Bridger Drive) and Interstate 90. Since it was reported September 4 it has burned 7,000 acres, including an unknown number of structures. It exhibited extreme fire behavior Saturday when the passage of a cold front brought sustained winds of 10-20 mph with gusts to 30 mph. A Type 1 Incident Management Team has been ordered.

Resources assigned, according to the incident management team, include 6 helicopters, 4 hand crews, plus engines, smokejumpers, and dozers. Sunday’s National Situation Report said there were a total of 99 personnel assigned (but 23 hand crews, which does not make any sense).

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Al.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

10 thoughts on “Firefighters deploy fire shelters on a wildfire near Bozeman, Montana”

  1. Watching local TV ew on Friday night, it was about 10 acres and not real active. Then Sarurday arrived as promised. Gotta remember 10/18 and LCES every minute of every day.

    1. Really Thomas? You were with the crew when this went down?? FYI.. It was a spot fire a half mile from the main fire that cut off their escape route… tell me where that is in the 10’s and 18’s… sometimes it’s just a bad day.

    1. Maggie, I do not know you but want to thank you for thanking God. My 27 year old son, From Anchorage, AK is fighting this fire. That’s all I know, he’s there, somewhere. He is a strong, wonderful son who has spent the last 7 years as a wildfire Fighter. I search for information and your post reached out. Again, thank you.

  2. Thank god their alive. No one understands a situation like this unless you have been in a close call. I know.

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