The Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest is currently reporting seven actively burning wildfires: the Alder Creek, Trail Creek, Christensen, Goose, McDougal, Black Mountain, and Goat fires.
Below are summaries for each fire as of Wednesday, July 21, as reported by Beaverhead-Deerlodge NF:
Alder Creek Fire
The Alder Creek Fire was reported on July 8, approximately seven miles west of Wise River. It is currently three percent contained at 5,676 acres. The fire saw minimal growth on Tuesday and continues moving slowly toward the Highway 43 and Pioneer Scenic Byway corridors. Fire engines and hand crews will continue to prioritize structure protection and improving containment lines. Slower fire growth is expected on Wednesday, although thunderstorms with high winds could increase its spread.
Trail Creek Fire
The Trail Creek Fire was reported July 8 and is burning approximately 20 miles west of Wisdom. The fire saw minimal growth from Tuesday to Wednesday and now stands at 23,875 acres with no containment. Firefighters plan to continue holding lines and working hotspots, as well as working to stop the fire from spreading to the Continental Divide. As with Alder Creek, slower growth is expected Wednesday, with the potential for further spread from high winds accompanying thunderstorms.
The Christensen Fire began July 16 and is currently at 210 acres. It is located 12 miles west of Wise River and six miles west of the Alder Creek Fire. No structures are currently threatened, and a Branch Director has been assigned to identify primary and alternative control lines.
Overnight infrared mapping put the Goose Fire at 7,247 acres as of Wednesday. The fire is located 32 miles south-southeast of Ennis near Hoodoo Pass. Crews will continue to hold fire lines and seek additional opportunities for line construction southwest of Hoodoo Pass. The fire is 34 percent contained as of Wednesday, and firefighters will conduct mop-up operations as needed. High relative humidity values have slowed the fire's growth, but sunny skies and lower relative humidity later this week could make more grass and sage fuels available to burn.
The McDougal Fire, 15 miles south-southwest of Philipsburg, has not increased in size from the 16.5 acres reported on Monday.
The Goat Fire is burning in heavy timber east of Philipsburg. The fire grew to 95 acres on Tuesday and is extremely hard to access. A Type 1 helicopter has been conducting bucket drops as part of suppression efforts. Fire crews are working on point-protection and structure protection measures in advance of predicted fire behavior modeling.
Black Mountain Fire
The Black Mountain Fire is located 13 miles south of Jackson, MT, east of Skinner Lake and Skinner Meadows. The fire began Saturday, July 17, and remains at a reported 865 acres as of Wednesday. It has transitioned to a Type 3 Fire, and evacuations have begun for the Reservoir campground, the Bloody Dick Cabin, North and South Van Houten campgrounds, and the Selway area.
All of the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest is currently in Stage 1 Fire Restrictions. A further tightening of restrictions is expected on Saturday morning as the Forest implements Stage 2. All campfires and stove fires (including charcoal barbecues and grills) will be prohibited under Stage 2 restrictions. These restrictions also affect smoking and the use of internal combustion engines.
Visit the following website for official closure information for the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/bdnf/alerts-notices