Trail Creek, Alder Creek, & Christensen Fire Update 09/03/2021

TRAIL CREEK

Location: 20 miles West of Wisdom

Star t date: July 8, 2021

Size: 40,459 acres (IR mapping-9/3)

Percent Complete: 58%

Cause: Lightning

Total personnel: 161


TRAIL CREEK FIRE:

The fire continues to actively burn along the ridgeline between Three Mile Creek and

Smithy Creek. Three helicopters assisted with bucket drops and crews "plumbed" the area

with water-handling equipment to further secure the line. Hose lays and a sprinkler system

are in place along Forest Service Road #080; crews will extend the sprinkler system as

needed. Heavy equipment continues to process and haul material on the northwest side of

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

agency resource advisors. An excavator will finish suppression repair work along Tie

Creek Road. Other areas of heat (Nez Perce Creek, Salix Creek, and Gory Creek) remain

active as large fuels continue to burn. The Salix Creek area has filled in most of the

unburned interior, creating a continuous edge. Fire activity in the Nez Perce Creek area is

expected to slow, as the fire reaches lower, sheltered elevations. A small column of smoke

was visible in the Gory Creek area yesterday.



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: 109


ALDER CREEK FIRE:

Smoke remains in the Teddy Creek area, as large fuels continue to smolder and burn out.

Heavy equipment is working on road repair in the Teddy Creek area. While no significant

fire movement is expected under the current conditions, crews continue to monitor the

area and check the functionality of pre-positioned water-handling equipment. 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 west side of upper Bryant Creek is currently the most active section of the fire, with

dry heavy fuels driving fire movement. Crews are monitoring the area and preparing for a

possible strategic burn operation, if the fire continues to move towards existing fireline.

Northern progression of the fire into the Bryant Creek drainage is expected to slow due to

a lack of fuel continuity and has a high amount of young lodgepole pine.



WEATHER/FIRE BEHAVIOR:

There has been no measurable precipitation in the fire areas for 11 days, the longest

amount of time without moisture in over a month. The dry conditions, poor relative

humidity recoveries overnight, and the evening wind shifts from southwest to northwest

have resulted in an increase in fire activity. The fires have potential to progress about a

half mile a day in receptive fuels. With recent fire activity in the Bryant Creek area, the

Christensen and Alder Creek Fires may join together in the coming days. Where the fire

finds dry and receptive fuels, it continues to creep around.


Weather conditions are expected to be similar as the past few days. Temperatures will

remain in the low 70s with mostly light west winds, switching to north/northwest winds

in the evening. Overnight relative humidity recoveries will likely remain in the 30s,

which may result in a longer burn period.



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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