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Bridger Foothills fire 100% contained thanks to snow
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Bridger Foothills fire 100% contained thanks to snow

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Bridger snow

Snow covers the Bridger Bowl Ski Area as seen from the parking lot earlier this week.

Recreation restrictions in the Bridger Mountains have been lifted after the Forest Service on Tuesday declared the Bridger Foothills fire 100% contained.

All trails and recreation areas are now open, the agency announced, but hikers and bikers are urged to stay on trails and to move through burned areas quickly to avoid exposure to hazards like falling trees. 

Bridger Foothills fire

Firefighters work to extinguish small fires within the perimeter of the Bridger Foothills fire recently.

Snow on Sunday and cooler days with minimal fire growth prompted the Forest Service to make the declaration, which means management of the fire is being turned back to local crews.

The lightning-caused fire started on Sept. 4 near Bozeman's iconic "M," a large stone marker painted white on the flank of the Bridger Mountains. Pushed by high winds and dry fuels, the blaze jumped the ridge and ran up Bridger Canyon.

Burn

Burned trees scar the foothills of the Bridger Mountains as aspen leaves turn golden this fall.

In one day the fire swept across 7,000 acres. Final figures put the fire's total acreage at nearly 13 square miles (8,224-acres). Twenty-eight homes were destroyed in the blaze, in addition to outbuildings and power poles.

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