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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 10.02.21

Trail Creek Fire Wildfire
News – 10/2/2021


OCTOBER 2, 2021

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

Facebook: @AlderCreekandTrailCreekFires

Alder Creek:  | Trail Creek:

Sand Lake:

Total Personnel: 401

TRAIL CREEK FIRE | Start Date: July 8, 2021 | Cause: Lightning | 61,980 acres | 67% complete: The fire continues to cool with the changing weather and longer nights. Firefighters are mopping up in May Creek and fuels continue to burn out in the interior. Taking advantage of lower temperatures and higher humidity’s, helicopters conducted water drops in Smithy Creek to help ease it into the creek bottom where firefighters are going direct. Crews have begun suppression repair work on Anderson Mountain and are assessing repair needs around Gibbonsville. Firefighters are monitoring the Nez Perce Creek drainage and around Morgan Jones Lake. Some heat remains in Osborne Creek. The east perimeter is in monitor and patrol status and equipment operators are doing suppression repair work on fuel breaks. North of Highway 43, crews are engaged in suppression repair and backhauling equipment no longer needed.

ALDER CREEK FIRE | Start Date: July 8, 2021 | Cause: Lightning | 36,696 acres | 43% complete: Most of the remaining heat on the Alder Creek Fire is in the Sawlog Creek area. Crews and engine modules continue working with hose lay to pick up fire as it comes into Sawlog Creek and have begun to go direct as it moves into the lower part of Tucker Creek, utilizing air support as needed. Firefighters are patrolling fireline along the northwestern perimeter down to Tucker Creek, and on the southwestern perimeter up to Sawlog Creek. In these areas, and along the eastern perimeter, crews are doing suppression repair work and putting in water bars. On the southeastern perimeter, a task force is collecting data on suppression repair work needed, and crews will begin this work over the next several days.

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: Saturday will be sunny with high temperatures around 70 degrees in the valley and relative humidity’s in the upper-teens to low-20’s. Winds will be south at 2-4 mph, becoming west to southwest at 4-8 mph, with gusts to 15 mph. In the evening, winds will shift to north, northwest on ridges. High pressure means a lack of wind to drive fire behavior. Long nights are taking the heat out of fires slowly. Fuel is critically dry, so it will continue to burn out. There will be a slow return to more active fire behavior over the coming days.

EVACUATIONS & 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 the area. 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.


  • The Big Hole National Battlefield visitor center will reopen on Tuesday, October 5, 2021. Visitor center hours of operation will be Tuesday – Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Big Hole National Battlefield’s lower parking lot, trails, and picnic area remain closed for public safety and resource protection.
  • Portions of the Continental Divide Trail remain closed. 
  • 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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