Winter storm brings fire relief in Beaverhead

By 
Casey S. Elliott
Wednesday, October 13, 2021

A snow-laden winter storm has put a damper on Beaverhead County area fires.

As of Monday, the Trail Creek fire west of Wisdom (62,013 acres, 82% of objectives completed) had largely quieted down, according to the most recent fire management team update. Heavy, wet snow from the storm blanketed the fire area. Personnel and equipment are being demobilized, and the Wisdom Airport fire camp is being dismantled. Continued winter weather is expected to largely snuff out the wildfire.

The Alder Creek fire west of Wise River (36,968 acres, 63% complete) is in a similar situation regarding wet snow helping tamp down the wildfire. Repair work will continue around the fire’s perimeter.

The small Sand Lake fire northeast of Wisdom (228 acres) remains unchanged. It continues to be monitored by air, and there is a closure order in effect for the fire (visit inciweb.nwcg.gov for more information).

The temperature is expected to drop and snow is predicted to continue in the early part of the week. Winds will pick up later in the week.

All evacuations have been lifted for Gibbonsville, Idaho and the Alder Creek fire area in Beaverhead County. U.S. Route 43 and the Pioneer Scenic Byway are open, but drivers, hunters and others are asked to be cautious of fire personnel in the area, and obey any closure orders.

A new closure order is in effect for the Trail Creek fire. The area north of Highway 43 is open, but the area south of Highway 43 remains closed.

The Big Hole Battlefield visitor center is open. Gibbonsville Road is closed at Forest Service Road 944 (Big Moosehorn Creek Road) coming from the east to Dahlonega. Big Hole Pass and portions of the Continental Divide Trail are closed; May Creek Campground is closed. Closure orders for the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest can be viewed at www.fs.usda.gov/ alerts/bdnf/alerts-notices, and for the Salmon-Challis National Forest at www.fs.usda. gov/alerts/scnf/alerts-notices . Closure orders for the Bureau of Land Management remain in effect.

Fire restrictions remain for public lands in southwest Montana (www.mtfireinfo.org).

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