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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 10.05.21

Trail Creek Fire Wildfire
News – 10/5/2021


OCTOBER 5, 2021

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

Facebook: @AlderCreekandTrailCreekFires

Alder Creek:  | Trail Creek:

Sand Lake:

Total Personnel: 362

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 | 61,992 acres | 69% complete: Despite critical fire weather on Monday, fire activity was moderate. With Tuesday’s continued warm, dry, windy weather, interior pockets of unburned fuel in Smithy, May, and Nugget creeks may come together and burn out, but the perimeter lines look good. Crews are repairing dozer line and roads around all sides of the fire. Crews continue to monitor the Morgan Jones Lake area, Nugget Creek, and Nez Perce Creek and use helicopters to keep fire in check as needed. On the southeastern side, all hose has been backhauled to the incident command post for processing to send back to the Missoula fire cache.

ALDER CREEK FIRE | Start Date: July 8, 2021 | Cause: Lightning | 36,930 acres | 45% complete: Crews are monitoring Osborne Creek, and while there was less activity than expected Monday, there is still a chance with today’s critical fire weather for the spot fires to burn together and into the main fire. Firefighters are monitoring Tucker Creek and Sawlog Creek and will utilize helicopters to keep fire in check as needed. Calvert Creek had increased fire activity Monday, and helicopters were used for water drops on the upper end. Suppression repair work continues around the northwest and southwest sides of the Sawlog area, with more equipment being shifted there to assist.

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. If there is any life left in this fire, it will show itself during this critical fire weather period.

WEATHER/FIRE BEHAVIOR: Another day of critical fire weather conditions are expected to persist as temperatures continue to warm and winds remain elevated out of the southwest. Temperatures will be in the low-70’s, humidity’s the low-teens, and winds 10-15 mph with gusts 25-30 mph. Fire activity will pick up in areas still holding heat, with more visible smoke likely. Wednesday, an unsettled weather pattern will bring colder, more humid weather with chances of precipitation.

EVACUATIONS & SAFETY:  The Lemhi County Sheriff has lifted all stages of evacuations for Gibbonsville, Idaho. The Beaverhead County Sheriff has lifted all stages of evacuations in the Alder Creek Fire area. U.S. Route 93, Highway 43 (Chief Joseph Pass to Wise River), and the Pioneer Scenic Byway are open to through traffic. 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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