Both the Alder Creek and Trail Creek fires saw minimal growth from Monday to Tuesday, with the Trail Creek Fire at 23,070 acres and Alder Creek at 5,674, according to a Tuesday morning update from the Southern Area Incident Management Blue Team.
The two fires are expected to grow at a slower pace again on Tuesday due to wetting rain.
The update said firefighters have reached 3 percent containment on the Alder Creek Fire burning seven miles west of Wise River.
Rain slowed the efforts of crews to remove burnable fuels ahead of the main fire on Monday. On Tuesday, fire engines and hand crews will continue to protect structures while holding and improving containment lines.
Existing evacuations have been lowered to Level-1, which allows residents to return to their homes while remaining in a ready state.
The Trail Creek Fire, 20 miles west of Wisdom, pushed slowly east along the Highway 43 corridor on Monday, according to the update.
The Big Hole National Battlefield and nearby private structures suffered no damage thanks to strategic firing over the past few days.
Crews plan to hold lines and work hotspots on Tuesday, and a hotshot crew is working to stop the fire's spread before it reaches the Continental Divide. The Trail Creek Fire remains at zero percent containment.
The Tuesday update also confirmed a new fire approximately six miles west of the Alder Creek Fire. The Christiansen Creek Fire is at 141 acres. No structures are threatened at this time, and a Branch Chief has been assigned.
Major closures are as follows:
- Highway 43 has been intermittently opened and closed depending on fire conditions. Please check the Montana DOT 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.
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.