NewsWildfire Watch


Trail Creek Fire tops 23,000 acres, Alder Creek Fire grows to 5,670 acres

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Posted at 9:25 AM, Jul 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-19 13:12:54-04

The Trail Creek and Alder Creek fires on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest have now burnt a total of 28,760 acres, according to a Monday morning InciWeb update.

The Trail Creek Fire west of Wisdom has grown to 23,090 acres, and fire officials say it is expected to remain very active over the next 72 hours.

Highway 43 is intermittently open and closed from the Montana/Idaho border to 18 miles west of Wisdom. Travelers and the public can check current conditions on the Montana Department of Transportation Road Report.

Crews continue working to protect structures along the Highway 43 corridor on the east side of the fire, particularly around the Big Hole National Battlefield and private property south of the highway. A structure protection plan will be required for several private residences near the Big Hole Battlefield.

As of Saturday, the Big Hole National Battlefield is closed until further notice.

Officials say the fire will be a long-term event that will burn through the fire season until a season-ending event produces moisture.

The Alder Creek Fire burning approximately seven miles west of Wise River has grown to 5,670 acres and is expected to threaten 146 primary structures in the next 72 hours. Additional structures along Highway 43 and the Pioneer Scenic Byway could be threatened later in the week.

Evacuations remained in place over the weekend and will be re-evaluated Monday morning, according to the Beaverhead County Sheriff's Office.

Firefighters will continue to prioritize protection around threatened primary structures in the area.

Forest Closure orders are in effect for both the Trail Creek and Alder Creek fires. You can visit the Closure Section on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest website for more detailed information.

The Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest has moved into Stage 1 Fire Restrictions. Campfires, stove fires, charcoal barbecues, and grills are prohibited unless using permanent fire pits or fire grates within developed recreation sites. Smoking, unless in a vehicle, a building, or an area three feet in diameter cleared of vegetation, is also restricted.

Watch the video below for a Monday morning update on both fires from Jon Wallace, Operation Section Chief: