Alder Creek, Trail Creek, & Christensen Fire Updates 09/02/2021
Location: 20 miles West of Wisdom
Star t date: July 8, 2021
Size: 40,122 acres (IR mapping-9/2)
Percent Complete: 58%
Total personnel: 172
TRAIL CREEK FIRE:
The fire was active along the ridgeline between Three Mile Creek and Smithy Creek. Winds, shifting to the north/northwest in the evening hours, pushed smoke down into the
Gibbonsville area. Crews remained on-site through the evening to monitor fire
progression. Crews will continue to address the intense heat in this area to limit potential
fire spread into unburned fuels. Helicopters helped keep the fire in check yesterday and
will be available to assist ground crews with buckets drops, as needed. Firefighters
reinforced the handline along the Continental Divide and will hold and improve that line
again today. Crews removed excess water-handling equipment on the Highway 93
corridor. They left all pumps and hose intact in Gibbonsville. Heavy equipment continues
to process and haul material on the western side of the fire. Crews continue to implement
the suppression repair plan, in consultation with agency resource advisors. Other areas of
scattered heat (Salix Creek and Gory Creek) remain somewhat active as large fuels
continue to burn; no fire movement is expected in these areas.
Location: 7 miles west of Wise River
Star t date: July 8, 2021
Size: 14,234 acres (IR mapping-9/2)
Percent Complete: 24%
Total personnel: 112
ALDER CREEK FIRE:
Smoke remains in the Teddy Creek area, as large fuels continue to smolder and burn out;
no significant fire movement is expected under the current conditions. 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.
Location:12 miles west of Wise River
Star t date: July 16, 2021
Size: 11,354 acres (IR mapping-9/2)
Percent Complete: 20%
Total personnel: 1
The fire was active yesterday afternoon, resulting in an increase in approximately 150
acres. The fire progressed from Trident Peak into upper Bryant Creek; however, fire
behavior is expected to lessen as the fire burns into a sheltered drainage area with a lack of
fuel continuity and a high amount of young lodgepole pine unreceptive to burning.
Fire behavior was active yesterday, as relative humidity dipped into the single digits.
Temperatures remained in the low 70s with mostly light west winds, switching to
north/northwest winds in the evening. Overnight relative humidity recoveries dipped into
the 30s, which may result in a longer burn period today. Weather conditions are expected
to be similar today.
In the afternoon hours, north/northwest winds could again result in areas of the Trail
Creek Fire backing down ridges with potential short-range spotting. The fire will
continue to burn pockets of fuel, interior to the perimeter, in the Salix Creek area; this
area is not expected to show significant spread.
Northern aspects south of Bryant Creek will also fill in unburned interior pockets, with
crowning and short-range spotting likely if afternoon winds align. Sheltering and lack of
fuel continuity will help slow the fire's spread.
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.
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. 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. The
Bureau of Land Management also reduced their closure area in association with the Alder
Creek fire. Read the updated closure orders and view area maps on the respective agency
websites and the fires' Inciweb pages.