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Trail Creek Fire

Unit Information

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

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Incident Contact

Wisdom Ranger District
Phone: 406-689-3243
Hours: M-F 8:00 - 4:30

Alder Creek, Trail Creek and Sand Lake Fire Update 10.01.21

Trail Creek Fire Wildfire
News – 10/1/2021


OCTOBER 1, 2021

Public Information Line: 406-624-9452 (8 am to 8 pm) | Email: | Facebook: @AlderCreekandTrailCreekFires

Alder Creek:  | Trail Creek:

Sand Lake:

Total Personnel: 407

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 | 61,980 acres | 67% complete: Cooler weather has helped with mop-up and containment efforts across the fire area. Crews have 90% of the west side mopped up where the strategic firing operations occurred last week and have begun suppression repair. In Smithy Creek, helicopter water drops are keeping the fire at bay as it backs and creeps into a place firefighters can go direct. Crews are backhauling water tanks, pumps, and sprinklers in the Gibbonsville area, starting at locations furthest from the fire and working towards those closest to the fire in the coming days. Firefighters continue to mop-up around Morgan Jones Lake and are monitoring the fire as it inches into Nugget Creek. The east perimeter is in monitor and patrol status. 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.

ALDER CREEK FIRE | Start Date: July 8, 2021 | Cause: Lightning | 36,696 acres | 43% complete: Cooler weather continues to moderate fire behavior, with creeping and smoldering in the more active areas, and stump holes and logs burning out in the interior. Crew are patrolling fireline along the northwestern perimeter down to Tucker Creek and on the southwestern side up to Sawlog Creek. In Tucker and Sawlog, crews are working with hose lay to pick up fire as it comes into Sawlog. They will finish indirect line as it comes into Tucker Creek and look for opportunities to go direct. Crews and heavy equipment operators are working on suppression repair activities along Calvert Loop Road, Bryant Creek Road, and 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: Clouds will move into the fire areas today with a very slight chance of precipitation. Temperatures will be 55-68 degrees, with south to southwest winds at 3-6 mph, becoming west to northwest at 5-8 mph and gusts at 15 mph. Minimum relative humidity will be 23-29%. Unsettled winds Friday afternoon could briefly increase fire activity, and there will be a slow return to more active fire behavior over the coming days. However, longer nights are helping, and infrared flights continue to pick up less heat within the fire perimeters.

  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.


  • Portions of the Continental Divide Trail remain closed.
  • The Big Hole National Battlefield remains 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.

FIRE RESTRICTIONS: Public lands in southwest Montana and central Idaho are in varying stages of fire restrictions. Check and for the latest information. 

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