Alder Creek, Trail Creek, & Christensen Fire Updates 08/27/2021

TRAIL CREEK

Location: 20 miles West of Wisdom

Star t date: July 8, 2021

Size: 39,305 acres (IR mapping-8/27)

Percent Complete: 58%

Cause: Lightning

Total personnel: 200


TRAIL CREEK FIRE:

Heavy equipment crews completed the debris clean-up operation along the Highway 43

MDOT closure. MDOT re-opened the Highway 43 closure area yesterday afternoon.

Ground crews completed handline construction along the western flank near May Creek

and along the Three Mile Creek ridge; crews will improve this line and monitor for hot

spots. Helicopters assisted with bucket drops yesterday and will continue to be available

to assist today. Crews will continue mop-up operations and close monitoring of

remaining hot spots throughout the fire. Crews continue to work on a suppression

repair plan.



ALDER CREEK

Location: 7 miles west of Wise River

Star t date: July 8, 2021

Size: 14,112 acres (IR mapping-8/27)

Percent Complete: 24%

Cause: Unknown

Total personnel: 192


ALDER CREEK FIRE:

Firefighters continue to assess and backhaul excess water-handling equipment no longer

needed, monitor areas of heat on the fire, and assess suppression repair needs. Heavy

equipment on the northern side of the fire completed wood chipping operations and

will work on repairing roads used in suppression operations. Crews continue to monitor

the large fuels smoldering in the interior of the fire, south of Highway 43 and west of

the Pioneer Scenic Byway; no fire growth is expected.



CHRISTENSEN

Location:12 miles west of Wise River

Star t date: July 16, 2021

Size: 11,120 acres (IR mapping-8/27)

Percent Complete: 20%

Cause: Unknown

Total personnel: 14


CHRISTENSEN FIRE:

Heavy equipment resources will continue tree removal operations as weather and safety

permits. Scattered heat and visible smoke remains in the Trident Peak area. Forward

progression of the fire is not expected. The fire has stalled along the Pattengail Fire

footprint, which has served as a natural barrier for confining the fire.



TODAY'S WEATHER/FIRE BEHAVIOR:


Yesterday's passing storms brought scattered light precipitation in some areas.

Consistent cloud cover blanketed the fire area, leading to a decrease in fire activity.

Clouds will linger in the area, clearing out this afternoon. Temperatures will drop into

the 60s in most of the fire areas with relative humidity at about 30-35%. Winds from

the west may gust up to 25 mph, with winds shifting to the northwest in the afternoon

hours.


The fires' interiors continue to burn-out, but perimeter growth is unlikely. Short-

ranging spotting is also unlikely, as the probability of fuel ignition remains at about



30%. Interior pockets of heat in the Harriett Lou Creek area will continue to burn, and

smoke continues to be visible in the Salix drainage with smoldering heavy fuels. A high

pressure system will move into the area this weekend, bringing higher temperatures and

lower relative humidity. The drying trend is expected to start Saturday, peaking in the

Sunday-Monday timeframe. As temperatures rise and relative humidity drops, fire

activity may increase, with an associated potential for short-range spotting from active

burning in the fire's interior. Fire behavior will likely increase in areas where the sun,

wind, and slope align (mainly in south to north drainages). Three Mile Creek drainage

has exhibited group torching and short-range spotting and will likely continue to do so

as the drying trend progresses.


SAFETY:

Highway 43 and the Pioneer Scenic Byway are open to through traffic. Slow down and

stay alert for firefighting equipment and vehicles, smoke, and downed trees. Motorists

should also watch for bicyclists, hikers, and vehicles operating at slower speeds.



FIRE RESTRICTIONS:

Southwest Montana - Stage 1

Central Idaho - Stage 1





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