‘Alaskan Bush People’: How the Brown Family Handled Their Home Being Destroyed in 2020 Wildfires

by Jon D. B.

The Alaskan Bush People Season 12 finale aside, how did the Brown family deal with the fallout of the devastating Palmer Wildfire in 2020?

In 2017, the Alaskan Bush People family received the heart-wrenching news that their matriarch, Ami Brown, had lung cancer. Wisely, her doctors made sure the Browns understood the disease’s severity – heeding them not to remain “off the grid” so she could receive proper treatment. The family did just that and wound up relocating to a new home in Washington state.

The Brown’s southern move found them on a 435-acre ranch in the North Cascade Mountains. It was, with nature abound, a breathtaking place to call home. Yet no one could have prepared the Browns, nor the world, for the catastrophic wildfires that would devastate much of the United States just a few years later.

While Ami’s cancer has thankfully been in remission since, her family is no stranger to tragedy. Only months before losing her husband, beloved Alaskan Bush People patriarch Billy Brown, their tribe would suffer another horrible loss.

On August 18, 2020, the family’s Washington home went up in flames. Victim to the The Palmer Fire, the Brown’s homestead would be utterly destroyed alongside many others – and 17,988 acres of land.

‘Alaskan Bush People’: Bear Brown Breaks the News

As it was with Billy’s death, his son Bear Brown would be the one to break the news to the world. Posting to his private Instagram account, Brown let followers know they had “suffered a devastating loss yesterday, a fire swept through our mountain, our home! The loss seems to be great! It’s still burning! I’ll keep everyone posted! God bless!”

In a statement to The Sun, Bear’s rep told the trade that “much was lost from the fire but the family is still gathering details.”

“We are very grateful that the family are all safe and have enormous gratitude for the firefighters who made sure of that,” the rep continued.

Thankfully, as both their reps and the family would confirm, the Browns were all able to evacuate with their lives. Bear would go on to post many more glimpses into the wildfire’s devastation.

“I would like to wish everybody well that has lost from the fire! My family and I have lost a lot, but we are not the only ones! Many people have lost there homes and there livelihood! Please everyone reach out to those in need with helping hands!” he wrote August 25 of 2020. “My family doesn’t need any help, but a lot of other families effected by the fire do! It’s tragic how many homes have been lost! But to those who have lost my heart goes out to you all! Stay strong! It’s always darkest before the dawn and God bless you all!”

The Browns, All Safe, Turn to Help Others

The Alaskan Bush People family were good to Bear’s word, too. During and after, the family partnered with Discovery Channel to raise donations through the Red Cross to help those impacted by the wildfires. Their first step toward helping came with a heartfelt video through Alaskan Bush People‘s social media accounts:

“There’s been a massive wildfire on Palmer Mountain,” Noah Brown begins the family’s statement.

“Everybody made it out completely safe! We’re all totally good,” Bear Brown adds.

“And we’d also like to thank all the first responders and firefighters that are working hard to put out the fire and save everybody’s home,” Snowbird Brown praises.

“Our hearts and prayers are with everybody going through times like these with us,” Rain Brown states. “Just make sure you reach out and do what you can – where you can.”

“Right now, all we can do is supply aid where we can,” Noah continues. “So reach out to your communities to find out exactly what everyone needs.”

“God bless, and everyone stay safe!” the family concludes in unison.

All in all, 30 structures were lost in 2020’s Palmer Fire. Thankfully, no fatalities are associated with the devastating wildfire. Many, like the Browns themselves, would go on to rebuild elsewhere.

Alaskan Bush’s Season 12 Finale: Faith and Fury

In the Season 12 finale, Alaskan Bush People would deal with the fallout. The episode itself, however, would go on to receive quite a bit of flack for seeking to profit off a major natural disaster.

“There wasn’t time to evacuate all the livestock, so they were set free and left to fend for themselves. Birdy’s deeply concerned about one particular horse, North, who was the first colt born on Brown Star Ranch, even though it was clearly not born on Brown Star Ranch,” TV Insider‘s deeply-cynical recap reads.

“The Palmer Fire rages on. With the Browns all safely off the mountain, there’s nothing they can do but watch,” the trade continues.

Strangely, neither Billy nor Ami Brown would make an appearance for the entire episode. Much of the episode would focus on the Brown’s livestock, alongside the sons and daughters helping other locals “herd” their own animals to safely evacuate.

As for exactly how the family is moving on, we’ll find out in Season 13. According to Popculture, the followup has “already” been filmed. Bear Brown himself confirms the scoop on Instagram, too:

“Be sure to check out the new season of Alaskan Bush People and all your questions will be answered!”