top of page

Trail Creek, Alder Creek, & Sand Lake Fire Updates 09/21/2021

TRAIL CREEK FIRE: Size 55,860 Acres 50% Containment

More precipitation and cooler weather aided fire crews today. Crews found opportunities to go direct and improve existing containment lines. Today, firefighters continue to improve the indirect line connecting the south and western edges of the fire. Weather depending, crews will use backburns to clean up unburned fuel between the fire and containment lines. Firefighters expect the fire to be most active on the Nez Perce creek and Anderson creek areas of the fire. Engine crews will patrol the north side containment lines and mop up any hot spots. Structure protection remains in place, monitoring fire behavior and evaluating structures.

ALDER CREEK FIRE: Size 34,639 Acres 45% Containment

Higher elevation areas of the fire received snow yesterday, further assisting crews in containment progress. Crews continued to improve indirect lines and mop up hot spots. Crews are using natural control features to prepare and construct indirect line. Fire activity will continue to be active in Saw Log creek and Calvert Hill areas. Weather depending, crews will look for opportunities to use backburns to secure containment lines and further reduce fire spread. Structure protection remains in place near Alder Creek. Crews will remain in the area throughout the day, monitoring and evaluating structures and mopping up any hot spots.

SAND LAKE FIRE: Size 228 Acres 0% Containment

With the cold and wet weather, growth and fire activity on the Sand Lake fire has been minimal. The fire is in a remote area and will continue to be monitored by air resources.


The public can expect to see smoke coming from the interior pockets of the fire line until the area receives considerable precipitation or moisture. Firefighters attack the fire directly where it is safe to do so and engage indirectly in areas where it is too steep or dangerous. The fireteam continues to develop the suppression repair plan.


Tuesday will be slightly warmer and drier than the past few days. A dry cold front is expected to move through the area Wednesday, bringing warmer temperatures and gusty winds. Fire activity could increase throughout the week with the passing dry cold front.


U.S. Route 93, Highway 43 (Chief Joseph Pass to Wise River), and the Pioneer Scenic Byway is OPEN to through traffic. Watch for trees and rocks on the roadways. With the change of weather, the roads may be wet with rain or snow in higher elevations. Remember, school has started in the local communities and hunting season is ongoing. Please continue to use caution when driving through the area, as crews will still be in the area.


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 Forests, the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, and the Bureau of Land Management. View the updated closure orders on the respective agency websites and the fires' Inciweb pages.

The Trail Creek, Alder Creek, and Sand Lake Fire Open House is scheduled for Wednesday, September 22, 2021, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Gibbonsville Community Center, Gibbonsville, Idaho, and Wise River Community Center, Wise River, Montana. The Incident Commander, Operations, Fire Behavior Analyst, and Public Information Officer will be on hand to brief community members and answer questions regarding the Trail Creek, Alder Creek, and Sand Lake Fire. Community members are encouraged to attend. Due to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases, we are asking everyone to wear a mask while attending the public meeting.

139 views0 comments


bottom of page