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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 10.04.21

Trail Creek Fire Wildfire
News – 10/4/2021


OCTOBER 4, 2021

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

Facebook: @AlderCreekandTrailCreekFires

Alder Creek:  | Trail Creek:

Sand Lake:

Total Personnel: 363

ANNOUNCEMENTS: Hunters, please watch for fire personnel. There may be firefighters designated as lookouts working outside the closure areas. Don’t mistake them for the game you are hunting! Please obey all closure signs. Law enforcement is patrolling the closure areas.

 TRAIL CREEK FIRE | Start Date: July 8, 2021 | Cause: Lightning | 61,990 acres | 67% complete: With warmer temperatures, lower humidity’s, and higher winds, expect more active fire behavior in areas still holding heat, including Smithy, May, and Nugget creeks. If conditions are right, interior pockets may burn together but the perimeter should hold. Suppression repair work has begun in most areas of the fire including some road grading. Firefighters continue to monitor Nez Perce Creek and around Morgan Jones Lake where little heat remains. Yesterday, a Type 1 Chinook helicopter supported efforts in Nugget Creek, dropping approximately 60,000 gallons of water throughout the day. On the southeastern side, crews are pulling hose off the ridge and emptying water tanks.

ALDER CREEK FIRE | Start Date: July 8, 2021 | Cause: Lightning | 36,905 acres | 43% complete: The Alder Creek Fire may see increased fire behavior in areas still holding heat, including Christiansen and Osborne creeks. With the critical fire weather conditions today and tomorrow, the Osborne spot fires have the potential to burn back into the black of the main fire and smoke columns may become visible. Otherwise not much growth is expected. Crews will pull out and monitor the fire in Tucker Creek due to the increased winds and dangerous snags in the area. In the areas north and south of Sawlog, and the eastern perimeter, crews are patrolling, doing suppression repair, and putting in water bars where needed.

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: Monday, temperatures will be in the low-70’s, humidity’s will drop into the single digits or low-teens, and southwest winds will increase to 10-15 mph with gusts 30-35 mph, bringing critical fire weather conditions. Fire activity will pick up in areas still holding heat. Wednesday, an unsettled weather pattern will bring colder, more humid weather with chances of precipitation.
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. The lower parking lot, trails, and picnic area remain closed for public safety and resource protection.
  • Gibbonsville Road is closed at FS Road 944 (Big Moosehorn Creek Road) coming from the east, all the way to Dahlonega. Big Hole Pass is also closed.
  • 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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