Photo credit: Tim Welter. Smoldering Wolf Creek bridge in foreground; lone remaining of what was three grain elevators in background
On December 1, 2021, a fast-moving wildland fire devastated the town of Denton destroying at least 25 homes, six commercial structures, and more than 10,000 acres. The Wolf Creek Bridge, owned and maintained by the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT), was among the structures destroyed by the fire, effectively cutting off western access to the town on MT 81.
Within days of the fire, MDT and contractors established traffic detours and access for emergency vehicles. Preparations began almost immediately for the reconstruction of the Wolf Creek Bridge.
Photo credit: Kyle Dubbs, 12/08/21. The cleaned-up bridge and roadway at left; the new detour under construction at right
Since December, field activities and design have been ongoing to get construction underway as quickly as possible. Construction of the new bridge will begin mid-March. During construction, traffic will continue to use the temporary onsite detour. Traffic is anticipated to return to the new bridge mid-June with construction activities wrapping up towards the end of June, weather and material permitting.
Regular email and text updates will be provided throughout construction.
A fund has been established at Opportunity Bank to help those who have been impacted by the West Wind Fire. Checks can be made payable to the Denton Fire Relief Fund and mailed to Farmers State Bank, a division of Opportunity Bank of Montana, at P.O. Box 1047, Denton, MT 59430. Checks and donations may also be made to any of the 24 Opportunity Bank branches across Montana.