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Tuesday update for Alder Creek, Trail Creek, and Christensen fires

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Posted at 2:00 PM, Jul 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-27 16:00:09-04

The Alder Creek, Trail Creek, and Christensen fires continue to spread in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest on Tuesday as more evacuations are planned due to the Alder Creek Fire.

Alder Creek Fire

The Alder Creek Fire has grown to 8,849 acres as of Tuesday morning and is ten percent contained. The fire burned actively in the Alder Creek and Deno Creek drainages on Monday. Crews are working to improve containment lines in those drainages and utilizing strategic firing operations as necessary on Tuesday.

Engine crews continue to patrol and support structure protection.

The Beaverhead County Sheriff's Office said on Facebook the following areas are now under an evacuation order:

  • All of Alder Creek Road
  • West of Alder Creek Road to Dickie Bridge (south side of Highway 43)
  • Scenic Byway from airport to Harriet Lou Road (west side of Highway 43)

The area east of Alder Creek Road to mile marker 62 on the south side of Highway 43 is under a Stage 1 evacuation warning, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Christensen Fire

The Christensen Fire burning 12 miles west of Wise River—near the site of the Alder Creek Fire—continued to spread toward the east on Monday.

As of Tuesday morning, the fire is zero percent contained at 4,891 acres. Firefighters on Tuesday are identifying potential control lines among old roads, creeks, and previous fire scars.

Engine crews are preparing contingency structure protection plans for private homes along the Highway 43 corridor.

Trail Creek Fire

The Trail Creek Fire west of Wisdom stands at 32,933 acres as of Tuesday and has spread west of the Continental Divide, into the upper portions of the Threemile Creek drainage above Gibbonsville.

Crews are working to identify control lines as engines patrol and support structure protection in Gibbonsville.

Firefighters are also continuing to enhance Lost Trail Road north of Highway 43 to ensure the Big Hole Battlefield and communication tower are secure.

The Trail Creek Fire is currently ten percent contained with 310 personnel assigned to the fire.


Highway 43 is currently open, and motorists are asked to slow down and be on the alert for firefighters, downed trees, and heavy smoke. For current conditions, travelers should check the Montana Department of Transportation road report.

The Continental Divide Trail is closed from Lemhi Pass north to Mussigbrod Creek.

The Big Hole Battlefield is closed until further notice, as are the North and South Van Houten, Miner Lakes, Twin Lakes and May Creek campgrounds.

Stage 2 fire restrictions are in place throughout southwest Montana. For up-to-date fire restriction and closure information, visit

RELATED: More homes evacuated in Wise River as Alder Creek Fire grows