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Trail Creek, Alder Creek, & Sand Lake Fire Update 09/25/2021

A new Northern Rockies Type 2 Incident Management Team led by Incident Commander Rick

Connell took over management of the fires at 6:00 a.m. Saturday.

As containment increases and additional firefighting strategies are implemented, smoke will

remain visible as interior pockets of fuel continue to burn. Fire managers are using a combination of direct and indirect firefighting tactics, keeping firefighter and public safety a top priority.

TRAIL CREEK FIRE: Size 56,743 Acres 75% Containment

On the southern perimeter, fire behavior remains moderate with isolated pockets of heat in the Morgan Jones Lake area. The fire is creeping and smoldering in Nez Perce Creek and crews are securing and patrolling the area around the Hirschy Ranch equipment cabin. Helicopters will be used to monitor this area and conduct water drops if necessary. Engine crews are patrolling the Gibbonsville Road and Foothills Road on the eastern side, and across the northern perimeter. On the western edge, the fire continues to creep and smolder in the May Creek area. Firefighters are preparing to do a burnout here over the next few days to reduce fuels and tie existing fireline into already blackened areas. There may be smoke impacts to Gibbonsville and the Highway 93 corridor. Structure protection remains in place in the Gibbonsville area, including water tanks, pumps, and sprinklers. In areas with completed containment line, some repair and rehabilitation work has begun.

ALDER CREEK FIRE: Size 35,412 Acres 45% Containment

A crew of Hot Shots took advantage of ideal weather conditions Friday afternoon to do a burnout near Calvert Loop Road, with substantial smoke visible. Firefighters will improve line and mop-up in this area Saturday as heavy fuels burn down. Engine crews will patrol fireline on the western/northwestern edge of the fire, while repair and rehabilitation work has begun on the eastern side. Equipment operators will continue to process and deck logs from fuel breaks, as well as remove hazard trees and clean up downed trees and brush. Additionally, crews are removing hose lays and pumps no longer in use, to send back to the National Cache for use on other fires.

SAND LAKE FIRE: Size 228 Acres 0% Containment

Fire growth and activity on the Sand Lake Fire has been minimal and will be monitored by air.


Fire activity will be moderate today. Temperatures will rise into the upper 60-70s, with

southwest, terrain-driven winds. Relative humidity will be in the teens to low-20s. Predicted

winds through the weekend are advantageous to areas of concern on all three fires as it could

push fire back into what has already burned. A warming and drying trend will continue into the

start of the week.


• Portions of the Continental Divide Trail remain closed.

• The Big Hole National Battlefield is closed until further notice.

• May Creek Campground and Steel Creek Campground are closed.

Closure orders remain in effect on the Salmon-Challis National Forest

( the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest

(, and the Bureau of Land Management.

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