Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
420 Barrett St
Dillon, MT 59725
Wisdom Ranger District
Hours: M-F 8:00 - 4:30
ALDER CREEK/CHRISTENSEN, TRAIL CREEK & SAND LAKE FIRES
SEPTEMBER 30, 2021
Public Information Line: 406-624-9452 (8 am to 8 pm) | Email: 2021.AlderCreek@firenet.gov | Facebook: @AlderCreekandTrailCreekFires
Sand Lake: inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7833/
Total Personnel: 441
Community Open House: Thursday, September 30, 6 pm to 7 pm at the Wise River Community Center, Wise River, Montana. Incident personnel will be on hand to brief community members and answer questions regarding these fires. Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases, we encourage everyone to adhere to current CDC guidelines regarding use of masks, social distancing, and handwashing.
Acreage & Completion: These fires have been managed using multiple suppression strategies, with “percent completion” based on the strategies implemented and objectives completed, including confinement, monitoring, point protection, and full suppression. Completion of objectives captures and reports the specific amount of work accomplished on the ground. As current conditions and management actions change, these numbers are adjusted. Consequently, adjustments have affected both acreages and percentages. Acreages on the Trail Creek Fire now reflect all the acres within the perimeter, including unburned islands of fuel. The percentage complete for each fire has changed slightly due to acreage adjustments, strategy changes, current weather conditions, and time of year. Each factor is weighted and can affect the calculations accordingly.
Important! For the safety of aerial resources and firefighters on the ground, please do not fly unmanned aircraft (drones) in the fire vicinities. If you fly, we can’t.
TRAIL CREEK FIRE | Start Date: July 8, 2021 | Cause: Lightning | 61,961 acres | 67% complete: Cooler weather has helped with mop-up and containment efforts across the fire area. North of Highway 43, crews are engaged in suppression repair work and backhauling equipment no longer needed. They are also road grading and doing cleanup from felling operations. Firefighters are monitoring the east perimeter and continue to monitor and patrol fire line on the south side in the Big Hole Pass and Morgan Jones Lake area, with no helicopters needed today. The western edge is looking good, with crews continuing to mop-up from the strategic firing operations that occurred last weekend. They have begun gridding this area, looking for hot spots. Around Gibbonsville, crews have begun to backhaul water tanks, pumps, and sprinklers, starting at locations furthest away from the fire and working towards those closest to the fire in the coming days.
ALDER CREEK FIRE | Start Date: July 8, 2021 | Cause: Lightning | 36,538 acres | 43% complete: With cooler weather, fire activity has been minimal. Firefighters continue to secure line along the west flank of the spot fire near Sawlog Creek and will monitor and patrol southwest from Bryant Creek Road to Sawlog Creek. Crews are securing the line on the lower half of Tucker Creek. Crews and heavy equipment operators are working on suppression repair activities along Calvert Loop Road, Bryant Creek Road, and along the eastern perimeter.
SAND LAKE FIRE | Start Date: September 1, 2021 | Cause: Unknown | 228 acres: Fire growth and activity on the Sand Lake Fire has been minimal and is being monitored by air.
WEATHER/FIRE BEHAVIOR: Temperatures will be in the mid-50’s-60’s, with minimum relative humidity’s in the low-20’s. Winds will be west to southwest at 6 mph. Cooler weather and some moisture has reduced fire activity to minimal creeping and smoldering.
SAFETY: Gibbonsville, Idaho, remains in “Ready” evacuation status. U.S. Route 93, Highway 43 (Chief Joseph Pass to Wise River), and the Pioneer Scenic Byway are OPEN to through traffic. The Beaverhead County Sheriff has lifted all stages of evacuations in the Alder Creek Fire area. Please be careful of fire crews working in all fire areas and watch for trees, rocks, and animals.