Blacks Ford Fire in Gallatin County Information

(Bozeman, Mont.)

Today the Bear Trap Fire was pushed by strong winds into Gallatin County north along the Madison River at Blacks Ford.  Sheriff’s Deputies assisted by MHP, Fish and Game Wardens and USFS Rangers issued evacuation warnings to residents on both sides of the Madison River on Madison Road to McDonnell Road.  No evacuation orders have been issued.  Deputies are contacting residents and providing information.  Norris Road and Madison Road are restricted to resident traffic only.  This includes land owners or people legitamately assisting local residents.  The BLM recreation sites and camp grounds remain closed as does the river for fishing and floating.  #####

Added Patrols are Out to Deter Impaired Driving


The Fourth of July is one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to alcohol-impaired driving crashes so Gallatin County  Sheriff’s Office will be stepping up traffic patrols to help keep travelers safe.  

 “Too many people die each year due to those who choose to drive impaired, so our officers will be out in full force this Fourth of July showing zero tolerance for impaired drivers,” said Sheriff Brian Gootkin.  “This is a time of year with many parties and celebrating, but there is nothing to celebrate if you get a DUI, crash your vehicle, or injure or kill someone.”

 Officers will be concentrating on deterring speeding and encouraging the proper use of seat belts and child restraints.

 Sheriff Gootkin also offered these reminders for safety:

  • Designate a Driver. Before the fun begins know who is your sober driver. 
  • Arrange for a Pick Up.  The designated driver doesn’t have to be at the party, as long as he/she is willing to drop off and pick up party goers.
  • Keep Ride Options on Speed Dial.  Be it a taxi, friend, neighbor, or parent, have that go-to number programed in your phone.
  • Use A Ride Home Program. 
  • Plan Your Own Ride Program.  As a party host, have a plan with taxis or designated drivers to get your guests home safely.
  • Plan to Spend the Night.  Crashing on a couch is better than crashing a car. If you’re going to a house party, why not spend the night?
  • Call a Taxi.

  “We’d rather everyone make the choice to have a sober driver than to risk a DUI or worse,” said Sheriff Gootkin. 

 The additional patrols are funded by the Montana Department of Transportation Selective Traffic Enforcement Programs (STEP) grants.


Sheriff/Coroner Identifies Victim of Crash on I-90

(Bozeman, Mont.) The Sheriff’s Office identied the victim of a fatal crash on I-90 at mile post 295 west of Belgrade.  The 911 center was notified of a head on crash at 00:09 a.m. this morning involving a wrong way driver on the interstate.  Killed was 28 year old Meghan Carina Powell of Belgrade.  She died at the scene.  MHP is investigatin the crash.  #####

Sheriff Looking for 82 yr old Alzheimer Woman

For Immediate Relase and Broadcast: 6-26-12 4:15 a.m.

Sheriff’s Search and Rescue with Bridger Canyon, Bozeman Fire Depts and Bozeman Police are currently searching for an 82 year old woman suffering from Alzheimers.  She was last seen in the area of the M trail head about 8:00 last night.  The Sheriff’s Office recieved a 911 call from her husband at 1:13 a.m. and searchers have been in the field since that time.  Sheriff Gootin asks that anyone with information or a sighting contact the Sheriff’s Office at 582-2100.

We are looking for Sarah Jane Shaw.  5’4″ 120 pounds, white hair, blue eyes.  No clothing description is avaiable.  She is reported to be in good physical condition and Alzheimer patients have been know to travel long distances.

Information on Bear Trap Fire


The human caused Bear Trap Fire is in Madison County west of Cherry Creek burning in steep partially timbered terrain.  Madison County Fire and Sheriff’s Office with help from many Gallatin County Fire Departments and Gallatin County Sheriffs Deputies with MT DNRC are actively fighting the fire.  BLM Rangers and Mt Fish Wildlife and Parks Wardens have closed the camping and day use areas along the Madison River including river floating for today.  The fire 200-300 acres and is 0% contained at this time.  Temporary road closures should also be expected. 

Further inquires can be directed to Madison County.

First of 3 Rescues Sunday was in the Gallatin River

On Saturday 6/16/2012 at approximately 2:27pm Gallatin County Dispatch received a 911 call regarding five injured and hypothermic rafters who were thrown from their raft on the Gallatin River near house rock.  Five of the rafters made it to the river’s edge near Luhn Lane in Gallatin Canyon; one rafter was said to be unaccounted for. 

Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, Deputies, Big Sky Fire Department, Gallatin Gateway Fire Department, and AMR all responded to the area to conduct the rescue.

The missing rafter was located by a Sheriff’s Deputy lying along US 191 near mile marker 63.  A vacationing emergency room doctor and a paramedic stopped to render aid to the injured man.  All rafters were now accounted for. 

All responders continued to the area and provided medical attention to the rafters.  Two subjects were transported to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital, by AMR, with non life threatening injuries.  The other rafters were treated for minor injuries on scene. The rafters were not on an organized and/or guided trip. 

A quick and organized response from all agencies allowed for the rapid location and treatment of all injured parties. 

The second call at 3:42 p.m. was for a person on an ATV in Johnson Canyon that had rolled down a hill.  He ended up with minor injuries and transported himself out of the back country. 

The third call was at 7:13 p.m. and involved lost hikers south of West Yellowstone.  See Gallatin Media Post.

Gallatin County Coroner/Sheriff’s Office

  On June 16, 2012, at approximately 7:13 pm, a 21-year-old male from Meridan, Idaho called 911 and reported that he had become separated from his hiking party and needed assistance.  He said that they had been hiking through snow and he was only wearing tennis shoes.  He had blisters and needed help to get back to their truck, which was approximately 5 miles from his location. The man said that he had not seen the other two members of his group for approximately 3 hours. Personnel from the West Yellowstone division of Gallatin County Search and Rescue, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office responded.


  Searchers found the caller near the Montana/Idaho border approximately fifteen miles south of West Yellowstone at approximately 9:34 pm.  The search team found the other two hikers, a 42-year-old male from Boise, Idaho and his 19-year old son, fourteen minutes later.  The hikers were tired but did not need medical attention.  The men said that they had only planned on going for a two hour hike and were not properly prepared.


  Sheriff Gootkin reminds backcountry users to have a means of communication, be prepared to spend the night even on short excursions, and let a responsible party know where you are going and when you will return.

New Jail Inmate Contract

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office has negotiated a new inmate contract with the United States Marshal’s Service.  Although there are no guaranteed beds in the contract, we are safely estimating this will generate approximately $150,000 annually.  Sheriff Brian Gootkin and Commissioner Steve White will be available for questions at the Detention Center lobby Monday morning at 10:00 AM.