Alder Creek, Trail Creek, & Christensen Fire Updates 09/02/2021

TRAIL CREEK

Location: 20 miles West of Wisdom

Star t date: July 8, 2021

Size: 40,122 acres (IR mapping-9/2)

Percent Complete: 58%

Cause: Lightning

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.



ALDER CREEK

Location: 7 miles west of Wise River

Star t date: July 8, 2021

Size: 14,234 acres (IR mapping-9/2)

Percent Complete: 24%

Cause: Lightning

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.



CHRISTENSEN

Location:12 miles west of Wise River

Star t date: July 16, 2021

Size: 11,354 acres (IR mapping-9/2)

Percent Complete: 20%

Cause: Lightning

Total personnel: 1


CHRISTENSEN FIRE:

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.



WEATHER/FIRE BEHAVIOR:

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.



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. 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.






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