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Christensen Fire

Unit Information

Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
420 Barrett St
Dillon, MT 59725

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Incident Contact

Alder Creek and Trail Creek Fire Information
Phone: 406-624-9452
Hours: 8 AM- 8PM

Highlighted Activity

08/04/2021 Alder Creek, Trail Creek, Christensen, and Black Mountain Fire 8.4.21
Alder Creek, Trail Creek, Christensen, and Black Mountain Fire UpdateAugust 4, 2021 Facebook Live Tonight with IC, Operations, Incident Meteorologist, and Fire Behavior Analyst. Meeting will be...
News - 08/04/2021
PIO Map Alder Christensen 8.4.21Image options: [ Full Size ]

The Christensen Fire started on July 16, 2021 approximately 12 miles West of Wise River, Montana. Located on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, the cause of the Christensen Fire has not been determined. The fire terrain is made up of forest timber with 2 feet high underbrush and heavy fuel loads of dead and down Lodgepole Pine. The surrounding valleys are characterized by short sage and grass mix.

The fire is being managed by the Southwest Type 1 Team #1, Incident Commander Alan Sinclair.  

Forest Closure Orders are in effect for the fire area. Please see up to date closure order at Beaverhead-Deerlodge NF: Beaverhead-Deerlodge NF Closure
Operational update videos are posted each morning. To view these videos and other updates, visit Alder Creek and Trail Creek Fires Facebook

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginFriday July 16th, 2021 approx. 02:15 PM
Location12 Miles West of Wise River, MT
Incident CommanderAlan Sinclair, Southwest Type 1 Team #1
Coordinates45.781 latitude, -113.226 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel18
Size8,426 Acres
Estimated Containment DateWednesday December 01st, 2021 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Timber (Litter and Understory)

Brush (2 feet)

Heavy fuel loading of dead and down lodgepole Pine. Valleys can be characterized as short sage and grass mix.

Significant Events

Minimal fire activity with backing, creeping, and smoldering.

Drying begins but still moist keeping fire behavior low.


Planned Actions

Structure protection measures are in place. Resources are actively constructing indirect fireline with primary, alternate and contingency lines in place.

Projected Incident Activity

12 hours: Smoldering fire behavior is expected overnight.

24 hours: A day of drying will bring fuels into a condition to support fire. Afternoon fire behavior will increase to active with some movement.

48 hours: Moderate to active fire behavior is expected with the drying conditions.

72 hours: Higher humidity will once again lower fire behavior to moderate with a chance of active fire behavior with sunshine and wind.

Anticipated after 72 hours: More moisture will keep fire behavior moderate to low.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

Significantly warmer and drier conditions were observed today, with temperatures climbing into the upper 70s and low to mid 80s.Relative humidity values started off around 80-100% this morning, then quickly plummeted to around 25-35% this afternoon. Breezy west to northwest winds were observed, with afternoon gusts around 20 mph.

Tonight, relative humidity values are only expected to recover to around 45-55%, with a thermal belt developing around 6,000-7,000 feet. This will set the stage for an even drier and warmer day on Wednesday. Relative humidity values are expected to fall to around 17-25%, as temperatures climb into the low to mid 80s and deep mixing develops. A few isolated dry thunderstorms remain possible during the afternoon and evening hours, which could produce strong outflow winds.