Alder Creek, Trail Creek, & Christensen Fire Update 08/25/2021



TRAIL CREEK

Location: 20 miles West of Wisdom

Star t date: July 8, 2021

Size: 39,264 acres (IR mapping-8/25)

Percent Contained: 26%

Cause: Lightning

Total personnel: 218


TRAIL CREEK FIRE:

Warmer temperatures resulted in a slight increase in fire activity yesterday,

particularly along the western flank of the fire. Torching and creeping continues

predominantly within the fire's interior, posing little threat to the perimeter of the

fire line. Ground crews will continue line work along the western flank near May

Creek and along the Three Mile Creek ridge; a large helicopter will assist with bucket

drops if needed. Crews will continue mop-up operations and close monitoring of

remaining hot spots throughout the fire. Heavy equipment crews continue debris

clean up along Hwy 43 in the Montana DOT closure area.


Crews continue to work on a suppression repair plan in consultation with Tribal

officials and representatives from the National Park Service, Big Hole Battlefield.



ALDER CREEK

Location: 7 miles west of Wise River

Star t date: July 8, 2021

Size: 14,108 acres (IR mapping-8/25)

Percent Contained: 15%

Cause: Unknown

Total personnel: 176


ALDER CREEK FIRE:

Interior burning increased yesterday due to increased drying conditions and

smoldering of heavy fuels; however, activity should slow with the coming cool

weather. Crews continue to monitor containment of the fire south of Highway 43 and

west of the Pioneer Scenic Byway. Firefighters continue to assess and backhaul excess

water-handling equipment no longer needed.



CHRISTENSEN

Location:12 miles west of Wise River

Star t date: July 16, 2021

Size: 11,109 acres (IR mapping-8/25)

Percent Contained: 15%

Cause: Unknown

Total personnel: 13


CHRISTENSEN FIRE:

Fire personnel continue to contain the fire south and east of Highway 43, while

minimizing impacts to communities and infrastructure. IR flights reveal increased

scattered heat in the Trident Peak area due to the drying trend from the past few

days. Crews continue to look for opportunities to limit fire spread onto private

property to the west. The fire has stalled along the Pattengail fire footprint, which has

served as a natural barrier for containing the fire. Heavy equipment resources will

continue log removal operations as weather and safety permits.



TODAY'S WEATHER/FIRE BEHAVIOR:

Temperatures yesterday were in the high 60s to low 70s with the relative humidity in

the mid-teens. Winds stayed around 5-10 mph with gusts around 15 mph. Last night

temperatures dropped down to the 40-degree range with relative humidity ranging

from 50% in the higher elevations to as high as 90% in low drainages. Today, the

weather will be slightly different with temperatures in the low 70s, with 70% cloud

cover during the day and up to 90% by sunset. Winds will be around 5-10 mph with

gusts up to 15-20 mph. Thunderstorms will creep back into the forecast as the next

disturbance settles in with a small chance of precipitation, disrupting our warming/drying trend and providing a few days of increased cloud cover.


Given full sun exposure and light winds, fire activity picked up the last couple of days

in isolated areas, with creeping ground fire and some isolated tree torching. Increased

cloud cover should lessen this fire activity.



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: May Creek


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

National Forests.


Road Closure: Montana DOT will close Highway 43 from Wisdom to mile marker

7.5 for bridge repairs. The closure is in effect from 6 a.m. on Monday, August 23

until 6 a.m. on Friday, August 27.






(Three Mile drainage on the western flank of Trail Creek fire) is captured in the attached photo (taken by our Long-Term Analyst, Jon Rieck, during a reconnaissance flight)
(Three Mile drainage on the western flank of Trail Creek fire) is captured in the attached photo (taken by Long-Term Analyst, Jon Rieck, during a reconnaissance flight)

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