Alder Creek and Trail Creek Fire Updates

Alder Creek Fire:


CURRENT SIZE: 1,380 acres

CONTAINMENT: 0%

LOCATION: 7 miles west of Wise River, SW of HW-43

JURISDICTION: Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest

COOPERATING AGENCIES: US Forest Service, Beaverhead County

The Alder Creek fire experienced significant growth yesterday, with isolated and group torching visible from Wise River. The fire crossed over Meadow Ridge into upper Harriet Lou Creek. Today’s weather shows cooler temperatures, light wind, and a chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Crews will continue implementing structure protection and constructing indirect and direct fireline. The Southern Area Blue Team, a Type 1 Incident Management Team, assumed command of the Alder Creek and Trail Creek fires this morning.


The Blue Team is based in the southern United States, however they have operated on numerous large fires throughout the country. In 2007, the Blue Team managed the Pettengill fire outside of Wise River. The team brings community based approaches to working and cooperating with local fire departments, law enforcement, local and state governments, as well as agency fire experts.


Planned Actions:

Structure protection/point protection around threatened primary structures. Continue construction on indirect line between fire and structures as overhead allow. Strategic burning out along primary control line to around adjacent primary structures.



Projected Incident Activity:

12 hours: Fire spread could continue to the East and North.


24 hours: Fire spread could continue to the East and North.


48 hours: Fire spread could increase dramatically due to expected high winds and poor RH recovery. This would cause evacuations for all residences in the Hwy 43 corridor.


72 hours: Fire will be threatening 60 primary structures along Hwy 43 and may be threatening the Pioneer scenic by-way with additional structures.


Anticipated after 72 hours:

Fire will be threatening the 40 primary structures along Hwy 43, an additional 20

primary structures along Hwy 73, and may be threatening the Pioneer scenic byway with additional structures.



Trail Creek Fire


CURRENT SIZE: 8,542 Acres

CONTAINMENT: 0%


LOCATION SW of Hwy 43 in Meadow Creek Area


JURISDICTION: Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest


COOPERATING AGENCIES: US Forest Service, Beaverhead County, Bureau of Land Management


PERSONNEL AND RESOURCE ASSIGNED: 4 engines, 2 Type 2 Initial Attack (IA) crew, 1 helicopter 1 dozer, 2 Heavy Equipment Task Force, 1 Wild Fire Management Module and miscellaneous support under a Type 1 Incident Management Team.



NARRATIVE: The fire grew to 5383 yesterday. Due to the continued hot and dry weather with gusty winds, the fire actively burned with numerous spot fires. The Southern Area Blue, Type I Incident Management Team will assume management of the Alder Creek and Trail Creek Fires on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest at 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, July 13. The team is based in the southern United States, but like all other Type 1 teams in the country, they are similarly qualified and have operated on numerous large fires throughout the country, including Montana. The Blue Team brings community-based approaches to working and cooperating with local fire departments, law enforcement, local and state governments, as well as agency fire experts. Their logistical expertise is required to build a base camp that will give firefighters the support needed for meals, health and safety, rest, and tools and equipment. They also bring technical capabilities with advanced community outreach and information sharing, mapping, aviation resources, heavy equipment, and strategies to contain and suppress the fires.


TODAY’S PLAN: Limit fire spread to the east utilizing indirect suppressions tactics and existing natural barriers. Protect May Creek and Hogan Cabins. Assess at risk external values with neighboring forests. Limit hazard exposure to personnel and public.


WEATHER/FIRE BEHAVIOR: Today’s winds will be from the northwest 7-12 mph, with gusts up to 18 this afternoon. There will be a slight chance for afternoon thunderstorms in the area that will be capable of producing gusty erratic winds up to 25-30 mph. Fire fuels are heavy with lots of dead and down surface fuels. Standing dead timber with low fuel moistures are available for torching and crown runs. Spotting distances will be up to ½ mile.



SPECIAL CONCERNS & CLOSURES: Public and firefighters safety is always the primary concern. There is currently an area and trail closure in effect. This order closes a portion of the Continental Divide Trail. A new closure order, expanding the area, will be finalized and posted within the next 24-48 hours. Closure orders and maps are located on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge Forest web page: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/bdnf/alerts-notices.


Hwy 43 is closed at Wisdom, MT, west to the junction of Hwy 93.


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