BOZEMAN, Mont. - The Bridger Foothills Fire is now 83% contained at 8,224 acres, but officials say it will continue to burn until it's covered in snow.
The new information came from a virtual community meeting with fire and forest officials on Wednesday night. While the fire isn't growing in size at this point, officials say there is still a lot of heat in the burn area and fire crews are now working to find and extinguish it.
Bridger Canyon Road is now open, and so is some forest land. The Bangtail Mountains are now open for recreationists, as is the Drinking Horse Trail and parts of the Bridger Range. However, most of the Bridgers are still closed so that fire crews can continue working.
An update from September 16, 2020 reads:
The Forest has modified the area closure order for National Forest System lands in the Bridger Foothills Fire area. This closes the area, roads, and trails to all human entry within the Bridgers, west of Highway 86 and south of a line from the Brackett Creek intersection ("the Y") extending to the west through Ross Peak to the western Forest boundary. Popular trails like Middle Cottonwood, Bridger Foothills, Sypes Canyon, all Bridger Bowl trails to the ridge and all trails south of Brackett Creek and up and over Ross Peak remain closed. Trail users should refrain from attempting to run the ridge or loop the Bridger Foothills trail; many connector trails are still closed. Visit the Inciweb page, Closures tab, for a detailed description and map of the modified closure.
The Gallatin Valley community continues to rally around first responders, with Gallatin County Commissioner Don Seifert saying on Wednesday: "Your outpouring of compassion and support has just been overwhelming. It really warms my heart, and I'd just like to thank every one of you. It's a beautiful thing."
260 people are currently assigned to the fire, though in the next few days fire crews will be downsizing their operations to a Type 3 organization. Crews will focus for the next 4-5 days on containment and mop-up.
Anyone in the area is asked to be mindful of closures and private property.
While there are no fire restrictions in place right now, recreationists are asked to be very careful and to make sure their fires are completely drowned.