28 Homes Lost: Sheriff Gootkin Describes Damage [AUDIO]
Update 7:30 p.m. September 8, 2020: Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin confirmed that 28 homes were lost in the Bridger Foothills Fire. (h/t NBC Montana's Maritsa Georgiou for first sharing via Twitter. @TGIFreddy with the first confirmation)
I had heard reports that dozens of homes in Bridger Canyon were lost over the weekend as a result of the Bridger Foothills Fire near Bozeman. "Dozens" would be a safe estimate, according to Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin.
Sheriff Gootkin said the sheriff's office, along with the Incident Management Team overseeing the fire will be attempting to get a more accurate account of all of the structures lost over the next couple of days.
Sheriff Gootkin described the devastation on Tuesday morning's "Montana Talks" radio show. At one point, he said an elderly gentleman approached him and gave him a hug. The man was crying as he hugged the sheriff. He told Sheriff Gootkin that he had spent all night in his house and didn't think he was going to survive.
As you can see in the photo above, the lodge at Bridger Bowl ski resort survived the devastation.
Sheriff Gootkin: The other day I wake up, and I'm reading on Facebook that Bridger Bowl was lost, and I'm like 'what the heck did I miss?' So I jump in my car, I head up there, and I see that everything's still intact. That was the first good feeling I've had this week.
You can find the audio of our full conversation on our "Montana Talks with Aaron Flint podcast" page (if not yet posted, check later in day for upload).
Click here to listen to our full chat with Rep. Kerry White (R-Bozeman).
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