Alder Creek, Trail Creek, & Christensen Fire Updates 09/01/2021

TRAIL CREEK

Location: 20 miles West of Wisdom

Star t date: July 8, 2021

Size: 39,825 acres (IR mapping-9/1)

Percent Complete: 58%

Cause: Lightning

Total personnel: 218



TRAIL CREEK FIRE:

Crews will address an area of intense heat in the Three Mile Creek area to limit potential

fire spread into unburned fuels. Crews removed excess water-handling equipment on the

Highway 93 corridor. They left all pumps and hose in tact in Gibbonsville. Heavy

equipment continues to process and haul material on the western side of the fire and

remove heavy fuels along the Tie Creek drainage north of the battlefield. Firefighters

reinforced handline along the Continental Divide and will hold and improve that line

today. Crews continue to implement the suppression repair plan, in consultation with

agency resource advisors. Helicopters will be available to assist ground crews with buckets

drops, as needed.



ALDER CREEK

Location: 7 miles west of Wise River

Star t date: July 8, 2021

Size: 14,185 acres (IR mapping-9/1)

Percent Complete: 24%

Cause: Lightning

Total personnel: 150


ALDER CREEK FIRE:

Firefighters finished backhauling excess water-handling equipment along the Pioneer

Scenic Byway and heavy equipment finished the majority of the suppression repair work

in the area. A small excavator will be used to finish any remaining work. Crews continue

to implement suppression repair and monitor the large fuels smoldering in the interior of

the fire.



CHRISTENSEN

Location:12 miles west of Wise River

Star t date: July 16, 2021

Size: 11,206 acres (IR mapping-9/1)

Percent Complete: 20%

Cause: Lightning

Total personnel: 1


CHRISTENSEN FIRE:

Scattered heat and visible smoke remains in the Trident Peak area, where pockets of fuel

continue to burn out within the perimeter. The fire is expected to continue slowly

backing into Bryant Creek under current conditions; however, no significant movement is

expected given the sheltered location.



WEATHER/FIRE BEHAVIOR:

Yesterday was a culmination of near critical weather conditions, with warm and dry

conditions and gusty winds up to 30 mph along ridgetops.


No moisture is predicted over the fire areas in the coming days, but fire activity is

expected to lessen somewhat, as predicted conditions offer a reprieve from recent days.

Temperatures are likely to be in the upper 60s to low 70s with relative humidity in the

mid-teens. Westerly winds will be lighter, with potential gusts to 16 mph. With these

conditions, fire activity is expected to be less vigorous.


The Three Mile Creek area continues to be the most active portion of the fire. The East

Fork of Nez Perce Creek was also active yesterday. Isolated tree torching and short uphill

runs are possible in the Three Mile Creek, Bryant Creek, and Trident Peak areas. Fire

behavior analysts do not expect movement of the fire to the west, given the steep terrain

and influence of the westerly winds.


Areas with scattered heat in Salix Creek, Gory Creek, and Teddy Creek continue to burn

out heavy fuels in the fires' interiors. These areas are sheltered from the winds and should

burn back onto already burned portions of the fire. The fire is having a hard time

becoming established enough to move around; no significant fire growth is expected.



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.


CLOSURES:

Portions of the Continental Divide Trail remain closed. The Big Hole National Battlefield

is closed until further notice. May Creek Campground is closed.


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

National Forests. The Salmon-Challis National Forests modified their closure area for the

Trail Creek Fire earlier this week. The Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest has

modified their closure areas for all three fires, reducing the amount of Forest area closed to

public access due to safety issues and firefighting operations. Read the updated closure

orders and view area maps on the respective Forest websites.





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