Press Release


On August 31, 2011, at approximately 2:30 a.m. the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Coroner’s Office was advised of a fatal motor vehicle accident. The accident occurred on West Dry Creek Road in Manhattan. The accident, a one vehicle roll over, is still under investigation. The victim was 32 year-old Tina Marie Beltz of Belgrade.

Press Release – CrimeStoppers

CrimeStoppers Announcement

At approximately 9:30 am on Saturday, August 27, a motorcycle was observed eastbound on Huffine Lane traveling at an extremely high rate of speed, weaving in and out of traffic. The same motorcycle was later observed eastbound on Valley Center from Wylie Creek, and then southbound on Davis.

The manner of travel and speed was extremely hazardous to both the rider and the public. If anyone has any information regarding the identity of the rider, please contact Sgt. Ryan Stratman at the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office at 582-2100, or CrimeStoppers at 586-1131. Information given to CrimeStoppers may be kept anonymous. In addition, information given by either means may qualify the caller for a reward.

Playing it Safe Pays Off



For Immediate Release




  A good plan produced a good outcome for a backcountry search this week near West Yellowstone.

On August 27, 2011, at 5:47 p.m.  a Bozeman resident called the Gallatin County Sheriffs Office and said that he was concerned about his wife and another couple from the Bozeman area who were hiking near Coffin Lake, which is northwest of West Yellowstone.

He said that the three hikers parked their vehicle at the Coffin Lake trailhead on Friday the 26th and planned to camp that evening in a pre-determined area in between lower and upper Coffin Lake. He said that he received an “all okay” message from his wife’s SPOT satellite GPS messenger that evening at the prearranged time.  The caller said that he planned to fly to the area the next day in a helicopter and photograph the campers by the lake.  He said that when he arrived at 8:30 a.m. he did not see the hikers at the pre-determined spot.  Later that day when he did not receive another “all okay” message from his wife at the arranged time, he requested assistance.

Personnel from the West Yellowstone division of Gallatin County Search and Rescue, the U. S. Forest Service, and the Gallatin County Sheriffs Office assisted with the search.

While search crews headed to the area, the caller flew to the area in a helicopter to assist with the search.  While he was enroute he received an “all okay” message from his wife’s SPOT messenger.  This also provided her current GPS coordinates.  The caller flew to the coordinates and found the three hikers.  They were in camp and gave the thumbs up sign.  Since nobody has spoken with the hikers it is currently unknown what caused their delay.

“We had a great and safe outcome today because the involved parties were prepared and had a plan to take immediate action when it appeared that there was trouble,” said Gallatin County Sheriff Jim Cashell.  ###






Fort Ellis Fire Service Area Closes All Open Burning

As of 6 PM, August 262011, the Fort Ellis Fires Service Area, encompassing the area East from the Bozeman City limits to the Park County line, has closed open burning due to extreme fire conditions. The open burning closure includes all fires requiring a Gallatin County Burn Permit and open flame campfires.

This closure does not include BBQ or other approved fire appliances.

This closure is in effect until further notice.

More information can be found on the Fort Ellis Fire Department’s web site


All Open Burning Closed in Bozeman City Limits due to Extreme Fire Conditions

At 4:30 P.M. Friday August 26, 2011 all open burning in Bozeman City Limits was suspended.

Due to extreme fire conditions, high temperatures, low humidity and forecast high winds, all open burning is closed in the Bozeman City Limits until further notice. The open burning closure includes all fires requiring a Gallatin County Burn Permit and open flame campfires.

This closure does not include BBQ’s or other approved fire appliances.

We will re-evaluate conditions on August 29, 2011.

Thank you for your consideration in helping the City of Bozeman Fire Department keep our citizens safe from fire and other life safety hazards.

Other fire districts or fire service areas that have similar restrictions include;
Belgrade City, Central Valley Fire, Fort Ellis, Big Sky, Gallatin River Ranch, Rae and Sourdough.

Search and Rescue Phone Solicitations


August 22, 2011

The Sheriff’s Office has been made aware that phone solicitations are being made in the Gallatin County area by people representing themselves as “local search and rescue”.

Gallatin County Search and Rescue does not solicit funds by phone. 

In the past few years we have tracked a company back to the West Coast and because of a loop hole in the law they are allowed to say the represent “local” search and rescue if they contribute a percentage of what they get back to a SAR group.  The law is not specific that it has to “your” local group.  Gallatin County Sheriff’s SAR is a division of the Sheriff’s Office and County Government.  It is staffed by volunteers that respond to about 100 search or rescue calls annually.  Although it does accept donations we do not solicite by phone. 

Questions can be directed to Lt. Jason Jarrett, Sheriff’s Office SAR and Support Services Division.  582-2105.

Local Emergency Responders Prepare for the Worst

Mass Casualty Training

August 17, 2011


(Fort Ellis, MT.) – More than 40 volunteers from several local agencies spent a warm summer evening in the hills above Bozeman Tuesday preparing for the worst and working to bring about the best results.

          First responders from across the county joined forces to care for nearly two-dozen individuals who “suffered” a variety of injuries during a simulated wild-land fire at the Bear Canyon Trailhead. 

  “These sorts of incidents don’t happen often,” said training supervisor Fred Cady.  “But we need to be ready for them.  This was a good learning experience.”

 Fort Ellis Firefighters, Paramedics from Bozeman Fire and AMR, Bozeman Deaconess Hospital workers and members of the Gallatin County Sheriffs Office triaged the ‘patients’, stabilized them and then shuttled the individuals with ambulances and a bus to BDH.

“Communication, cooperation and capability must be combined to handle every type of incident, but especially when you’re dealing with many patients at once,” said Cady.

“No one agency can handle a big event,” said Buck Taylor of Fort Ellis Fire Department.  “That’s why we train together.  You learn about each other’s abilities and you learn that by working together we serve the community better.”

 “The more we train,” said Taylor.  “The better the results we can produce for our customers, our neighbors and our friends.” 

 Event organizers extend their thanks to the students and administration ofMountEllisAcademyfor their cooperation, along withBozeman DeaconessHospital. 


 Photos Courtesy:   Bozeman Fire Department and Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue


Press Release

For Immediate Release

On August 10, 2011, at approximately 1755 hours, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call reporting a man missing on the Gallatin River a short distance south of Norris Road. It was initially reported that the missing man had last been seen carrying a cooler, but that the cooler was seen shortly afterward floating downstream by itself. Personnel from Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue, Sheriff’s Deputies, Gallatin Gateway Fire Department, and AMR responded to the scene. During the response, dispatch received further information that the victim was trapped underwater beneath a submerged log.

The first arriving responders were taken to the scene, which was a location where the Gallatin River makes a sharp bend and enters a narrow, fast channel. Search and Rescue personnel utilizing an inflatable Zodiac boat were able to reach the victim’s location. Personnel on shore held the boat in position with lines while rescuers in the boat struggled to reach the victim underwater. The unresponsive victim was freed from the debris and taken in the boat to a waiting AMR ambulance. He was pronounced dead on scene.

The victim, 33-year-old Seth Gregory Simmons of Bozeman had been on a floating trip with four friends. A raft in which he had been floating was punctured and deflated, so he and one other friend continued downstream “free-floating”, while the three others floated in tubes. After the first four passed through the fast, narrow channel safely, they did not see Simmons appear, but did see the cooler which he had been carrying float by. Simmons’ friends located him and found he was trapped, but were unable to free him; they found someone nearby on shore with a phone and called 911.

Press Release

On 08-06-11 at approximately 1608 hours, Park County dispatch received a 911 call from two lost hikers in the Bridger Bowl Area. Park County dispatch contacted Gallatin County dispatch.

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, Gallatin County Search and Rescue and Bridger Canyon Fire responded. Two adult female hikers and their two dogs set out from Fairy Lake en route to Bridger Bowl. Prior to arriving at Bridger Bowl, one of the dogs became injured. The dog’s paws were raw and bleeding. The hikers attempted a shortcut to Bridger Bowl and became stranded.

Search and Rescue members located one of the hikers just above the Alpine basin with the injured dog. The dog was bandaged and transported down the hill. The other hiker managed to hike down to the Bridger Bowl parking lot with her dog. Both hikers were uninjured.

The Sheriff would like to remind hikers to always be prepared for emergencies when hiking in the backcountry.

Fort Ellis Fire Service Area Annual Picnic August 11, 2011

Fort Ellis Fire/Rescue will host its annual picnic, Thursday, August 11th from 5:30-7:30 pm at the fire station, 3725 Bozeman Trail Road.  The event is open to the public and will feature hamburgers, hot dogs and veggie burgers, side dishes and drinks.  Suggested donations are $5 per person and attendees are encouraged to bring a dessert to share.

Fun for all ages including fire truck rides, hose target shooting, touring the Bozeman Fire Department’s hazardous materials response equipment and much more.  Come rain or shine and support the Fort Ellis volunteers!