Alder Creek, Trail Creek, and Christensen Fire Update 08/21/2021

Joe Sampson's Northern Rockies Team #5 assumed command of the fires at 6 a.m.

this morning. Members of Northern Rockies Team #5 worked closely alongside the

Southern Area Blue Team yesterday, with all sections "shadowing" their

counterparts to ensure a smooth transition. Command of the Black Mountain Fire

has been transferred back to the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest.


Given recent precipitation and much cooler temperatures, firefighters were able to

monitor current activity on all three fires. Rain (and hail in some places) affected

the area roads, limiting travel and operations to some degree.



TRAIL CREEK

Location: 20 miles West of Wisdom

Star t date: July 8, 2021

Size: 39,196 acres

Percent Contained: 26%

Cause: Lightning

Total personnel: 223


TRAIL CREEK FIRE:

Crews are monitoring and "mopping up" residual heat in the area between Three

Mile Creek and the Gibbonsville Road, where they completed a strategic burn

operation earlier this week. Crews are also working to rehabilitate an area where

handline was constructed near the Big Hole Battlefield. Crews are keeping a close

eye on areas of residual heat in the Salix Creek area, in the Shoefly area south of

Hogan's Cabin, and in the Three Mile Ridge/Nez Perce drainage areas. Structure

protection measures (pumps, hose, and sprinklers) remain in place for structures in

the Gibbonsville area.



ALDER CREEK

Location: 7 miles west of Wise River

Star t date: July 8, 2021

Size: 14,056 acres

Percent Contained: 15%

Cause: Unknown

Total per sonnel: 290


ALDER CREEK FIRE:

Crews continue to strengthen containment lines and "mop up" areas of residual

heat, specifically in the Foolhen Ridge area where heavy fuels continue to smolder

and the fire is backing downhill slowly. Some heat is present in the Deno/Stein

Creek areas, where the fire continues to smolder in heavy duff. Firefighters will

check these areas for increased activity, with the warmer and drier conditions

forecast for next week.



CHRISTENSEN

Location:12 miles west of Wise River

Star t date: July 16, 2021

Size: 11,067 acres

Percent Contained: 15%

Cause: Unknown

Total per sonnel: 33


CHRISTENSEN FIRE:

Crews are removing heavy fuels to improve fuel breaks in the area north of the

fire. Fire activity remains minimal, with very little heat observed. Fire managers

will monitor a small pocket of heat in the Trident Peak area.



TODAY'S WEATHER/FIRE BEHAVIOR:

The fire areas received up to 1/4 inch of precipitation over the last 24 hours.

Cooler temperatures and moister air further resulted in decreased fire activity

temporarily. Relative humidity recoveries reached 90% last night. Today's forecast

calls for temperatures in the 60s and relative humidity in the mid-50% range.

Winds from the south/southwest could gust up to 20 mph. Today brings the best

chance for thunderstorms for several days, with 75% cloud cover and the potential

for gusty, erratic winds; brief, heavy rainfall; and small hail. Precipitation is likely

from mid-afternoon to the evening hours. Another disturbance enters the area on

Sunday/Monday, followed by a gradual drying and warming trend through next

week.


Fire behavior is limited to smoldering in the heavy fuels and minimal creeping in

thick duff on the forest floor. Potential for large fire growth remains a concern,

given the combination of warmer and drier conditions and strong, gusty winds.



CLOSURES:

The Continental Divide Trail is closed from Rock Creek to Mussigbrod Creek.


The Big Hole National Battlefield is closed until further notice.


Campground Closures: North and South VanHouten, Miner Lakes, Twin Lakes,

May Creek and Divide Bridge


Forest Closure orders are in effect on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge and Salmon-

Challis National Forests.







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