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The original item was published from 7/20/2021 4:17:13 PM to 7/28/2021 12:00:04 AM.

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Posted on: July 20, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Alder Creek and Trail Creek Fire Update Notes 7-20-2021

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Two drones were spotted violating the temporary flight restriction over the Alder Creek fire yesterday. When people fly drones near wildfires, aircraft in the area are grounded to avoid the potential for a midair collision. Delaying airborne response poses a threat to firefighters on the ground, residents, and property in nearby communities, and it can allow wildfires to grow larger. 

Alder Creek Fire: The fire experienced minimal growth yesterday, slowly moving towards the Hwy 43 and Pioneer Scenic Byway corridors. Crews focused on stopping the main fire by using tactical fire to remove burnable fuels, but rain has slowed firing operations. Fire engines and hand crews continue to hold and improve containment lines and protect structures today. Fire growth today is expected to be slower due to wetting rain. Existing evacuations near Wise River have been reduced to Level-1, allowing residents to return to their homes but also remain in a ready state. 

Christiansen Creek Fire:  Currently the fire is at 141 acres and is located approximately six miles west of the Alder Creek Fire. No structures are threatened at this time. A Branch Chief has been assigned. 

Trail Creek Fire The fire grew minimally yesterday, continuing to push slowly east along the Hwy 43 corridor. Thanks to strategic firing in past days, the Big Hole National Battlefield and adjacent private structures suffered no damage. The plan is to continue with holding lines and working hotspots. South of Hwy 43, the plan is to hold the fire on Butler Creek where it intersects with Foothills Rd. A Hotshot crew is working to arrest the fire spread before it reaches the Continental Divide. Fire growth is expected to be slow today due to wetting rain. 


WEATHER:   Both fires received rain yesterday. The potential for thunderstorms and high winds are possible this afternoon and evening and should hold moisture. 

Temp: Max 78F; Humidity: 30-50% 

Wind: SW 10-15 mph, with gusts up to 20 mph in the afternoon. 



  • Hwy 43 has been intermittently opened and closed depending on fire conditions. Please check the Montana DOT website: Road Report for current status. 
  • Continental Divide Trail: Closed from Montana/Idaho Boarder NW to Chief Joseph Pass and NE to Trail 3062. 
  • Big Hole National Battlefield is closed until further notice. North and South Van Houten, Miner Lakes, Twin Lakes and May Creek Campgrounds are closed. 
  • Forest Closure orders are in effect for all three fires. Visit the Closure Section on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge NF and Salmon-Challis NF websites for specifics. 




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