BOZEMAN — A week ago from today the Bridger Foothills Fire burned through the canyon. But instead of focusing on what happened, the community is coming together to move forward.
“My wife and I were talking and she said well wouldn’t you want somebody to be able to call at any time of the day, email them and they will have answers for you and I said absolutely and she said well be that person,” explained Jared Kaplan, a resident of Jackson Creek.
After residents were able to return, 36-year-old Kaplan quickly became the go-to person for help. But he also came close to experiencing the results of the fire, firsthand.
“The sheriffs rolled in on Saturday around 3 o’clock and said get out now it’s coming and we did,” he said.
The fire was right in their backyard.
“It was just a big smoke plume and then when the wind kicked up, it was gigantic. It looked like a volcano,” Kaplan explained.
After a few days, neighboring residents joined together to help each other out.
“There’s a Facebook page here about the information, and I was like amazing. So, Evan Locke who created that page, is a lifesaver for everyone here and just went through that page and started giving out the correct information that everyone needed,” he said.
Which turned into a system of neighbors helping neighbors with Jared serving as a community leader.
“I didn’t even hesitate. I said absolutely. I just wanted to do it because I’d want somebody as a resource for me if I had that. That’s who I’d want to be," he said.
And if there are any victims out there struggling, Jared has a message for you.
“I know you guys are trying to be the strong person for your family. Don’t. I’m here. Let me be that person for you guys, and let me guide you. It doesn’t hurt to ask for help. Trust me, and if you’re going to ask for help, now is the time to ask for it.”
A week ago from today the Bridger Foothills Fire burned through the canyon. But instead of focusing on what happened, the community is coming together to move forward," he encouraged.
The Bridger Foothills Fire Relief Fund is still active and taking donations.