Alder Creek, Trail Creek, & Christensen Fire Updates 08/28/2021

TRAIL CREEK

Location: 20 miles West of Wisdom

Star t date: July 8, 2021

Size: 39,317 acres (IR mapping-8/28)

Percent Complete: 58%

Cause: Lightning

Total personnel: 227


TRAIL CREEK FIRE:

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

and along the Three Mile Creek ridge east of Anderson Mountain; crews will improve and

secure this line, closely monitoring the Anderson Mountain area. The line will be

"plumbed" with hoses and pumps, as a precautionary measure. Helicopters assisted with

bucket drops yesterday, effectively keeping the fire "in check" along Three Mile Ridge.

Heavy fuel removal from Anderson Road is complete. Crews are working to remove

hazard trees from the May Creek area. Crews will continue mop-up operations and

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: 14,117 acres (IR mapping-8/28)

Percent Complete: 24%

Cause: Unknown

Total personnel: 177


ALDER CREEK FIRE:

Firefighters backhauled excess water-handling equipment no longer needed east of the

Pioneer Scenic Byway. They will continue the backhauling operation on the west side of

the Byway, monitoring areas of heat on the fire, and assessing 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 Byway; no significant fire growth is expected.



CHRISTENSEN

Location:12 miles west of Wise River

Star t date: July 16, 2021

Size: 11,129 acres (IR mapping-8/28)

Percent Complete: 20%

Cause: Unknown

Total personnel: 13


CHRISTENSEN FIRE:

Heavy equipment resources will continue with cut material removal operations as weather

and safety permit. Scattered heat and visible smoke remains in the Trident Peak area.

Forward progression of the fire is not expected although the fire is expected to continue

backing into Bryant Creek when the winds and slope align. 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:

A low pressure system yesterday kept high temperatures in the 60s and minimum relative

humidity around 30%. As the system clears out to the east, a drying trend begins, with

temperatures rising a few degrees each day and relative humidity slowly dropping. Expect

widespread sunshine today, relative humidity in the low to mid 20s and temperatures in

the low 70s. An incoming thermal belt will also keep temperatures warmer at night. Wind

speeds are expected to remain low today (gusting up to 13 mph from the west), but

instability tomorrow and Monday could bring unpredictable gusty winds. Cooler weather

is expected to return mid-week.


Limited fire spread is anticipated even with the expected drying trend. Concentrated heat

in Salix Creek, Three Mile Ridge, and Trident Peak may lead to a slight increase in fire

activity and smoke production. Single tree torching on the western side of the Trail Creek

Fire is likely to continue, due to the slope alignment and solar heating of the fuels with

the morning sun.



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:

Public lands in southwest Montana and central Idaho are in varying stages of fire

restrictions. Check mtfireinfo.org and idahofireinfo.com for the latest information.



CLOSURES:

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

Hole National Battlefield is closed until further notice. May Creek Campground remains

closed.





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