Preparing for an Evacuation – Learning from the Bridger Canyon Fire

It’s been almost three weeks since a wildfire ravaged the Bridger Canyon area here in Bozeman, MT. Likely the result of a lightning storm, the blaze began near the ‘M’ Trail around 3:00pm on Friday, September 4th. Quick action was taken by local fire departments and the US Forest Service, as the fire was easily visible from Bozeman and so it was immediately reported. However, due to extremely dry conditions as well as a frontal passage with strong winds, the fire exploded, growing from 400 acres to over 7000 acres in just a day. The fire’s speed and growth rate left many landowners scrambling in an emergency evacuation. It has been officially reported that there were 28 homes lost in total in the raging wildfire. Thankfully, no lives were lost. We sincerely hope that all who were impacted had the chance to at least save their most valuable and irreplaceable possessions.

The purpose of this short article is to provide homeowners with peace of mind looking forward. In the case of an evacuation, you must prepare for the worst. To this end, it is our strong recommendation that anyone with a home in a wildfire urban interface, or near a forest, should get their entire home videoed. This would provide a way to document all of your finishes, updates, and personal belongings. In addition to peace of mind, this would provide an official and tangible record of your home’s true value, which would serve as irrefutable evidence in the case of a major insurance claim. This would prevent the insurance company from unfairly reducing your settlement, as well as expedite the process of your claim substantially. This video may prove to be your saving grace in the wake of a tragedy. Our hearts and prayers go out to all of those affected by the Bridger Canyon Fire. If you or a loved one was impacted in any way by the blaze, we extend our deepest sympathies.

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