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Alder Creek, Trail Creek, Christensen, and Black Mountain Fire Update 08/07/2021

Alder Creek

Size: 11,540 Acres

Containment: 10%

Location: 7 miles west of Wise River, MT

Start Date: July 8, 2021

Cause: Unknown

Total personnel: 380

Alder Creek Fire: Monitoring and securing line operations with structure protection and work towards containment will continue today. Crews and heavy equipment will also work to complete additional dozer line to strengthen strategic containment objectives. Firefighters will continue to identify additional preparation work along Highway 43 and locate areas for strategic burning. Relative humidity is predicted to stay in the lower 20% range.

Trail Creek

Size: 35,897 Acres

Containment: 23%

Location: 20 miles west of Wisdom, MT

Start Date: July 8, 2021

Cause: Lightning

Total personnel: 137

Trail Creek Fire: Prep work continues along the fire’s Southwest edge with fallers, crews and heavy equipment working in an area known as the switchbacks, near Gibbonsville Road corridor and Lost Trail. Structure and infrastructure protection continues to test planned mitigations in place. Patrolling operations in the area are ongoing. Construction of fire line continues using heavy equipment in identified areas near 3-mile creek and adjacent ridges that are still holding high heat, with intent to complete by end of shift today.


Size: 8,575 Acres

Containment: 0%

Location: 12 miles west of Wise River, MT

Start Date: July 16, 2021

Cause: Unknown

Total personnel: 18

Christensen Fire: Fire crews will continue to patrol and monitor line operations and structural protection to prevent impact to private property. Fuel breaks and handlines are being constructed to tie in dozer line. Montana National Guard has joined operations along the western flank and are cold trailing the perimeter. Resources will work to mitigate identified targets along the south side of the fire.

Black Mountain

Size: 1,042 Acres


Location: 13 miles south of Jackson, MT

Start Date: July 17, 2021

Cause: Lightning

Total personnel: 52

Black Mountain Fire: The Hotshot crews completed their operation and returned to the Alder and Christensen fires. A wildfire Module has been requested to monitor, patrol, and mop up the fire edge to ensure fire containment. Resources will continue to prepare alternate and contingency lines to ensure they are in place if there is fire movement in that area. Crews and Incident Management Team supervisors continue to evaluate the risk to personnel and resources to ensure the risks are at an acceptable level. Medical resources are posted at identified staging areas to respond to medical emergencies.

Fire Weather Watchout Today: Today’s temperatures will be in the upper 70’s. Relative Humidity will be at 20% percent with winds at 28 mph which will create drying conditions and increase the potential fire activity from the low to moderate range to active later this afternoon.

Major Closures:

-Hwy 43 and Pioneer Byway remain open. Motorists are asked to slow down and be on the alert for firefighters, heavy smoke, and downed trees. Please check the Montana DOT Road Report website for current conditions.

-Continental Divide Trail: Closed from Lemhi Pass north to Mussigbrod Creek.

-Big Hole National Battlefield is closed until further notice. North and South VanHouten, Miner Lakes, Twin Lakes, May Creek and Divide Bridge Campgrounds are closed.

-Forest Closure orders are in effect for all three fires.

Evacuations: Beaverhead County Sheriff has Stage 1 Evacuation Orders in effect for Alder Creek Community and Highway 43 from Mile Marker 35 to the County Line at Mile Marker 41.5. This includes the residents on Doolittle Creek Road and North Doolittle Creek Road. . Stage 2 is in place for the southside of Hwy 43 from Alder Creek Road to Dickie Bridge, and the westside of Pioneer Scenic Byway from airport to Harriet Lou Road Beaverhead Sheriff.

Lemhi County Sheriff has contacted residences in threatened areas on the west side of the Trail Creek Fire in Idaho and placed in “Set” evacuation status. Info: 208-756-8980.

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