Type 2 Team takes Command of Chugach National Forest Fires

Anchorage 3 p.m. – A reconnaissance flight yesterday, June 19 provided more accurate information on the two lightning-caused wildfires that ignited Tuesday evening, June 16 on Chugach National Forest – Kenai Peninsula and acreage for the fires has been updated. Both fires have grown in size and remain active. Juneau Lake fire is approximately 400 acres and Stetson Creek is approximately 250 acres.

The Juneau Lake fire perimeter was active, except on the eastern flank which is burning into higher elevations. Structure protection is in place for the cabins.

Firefighters are monitoring the northern flank of the Stetson Creek fire. Effective work from water scooping aircraft have slowed the fire’s spread. Two crews are en route to the fire today.

The Oregon 4 Type 2 Team will take command of both fires this afternoon.

Visitors, local residents and aviators should anticipate varying levels of smoke in the forest. Wildfire smoke information is available at http://dec.alaska.gov/air/smokemain.html. Travelers are reminded to use caution when driving through smoky conditions by driving with headlights on, slowing down and watching for fire equipment and firefighters. Information on travel conditions and fire-related road closures can be found at http://511.alaska.gov. Smoke can pose health concerns for the public. Residents are encouraged to visit the Protect Yourself from Smoke website http://www.cdc.gov/Features/Wildfires/

Cooper Creek North and South campgrounds and Bean Creek and Stetson Creek Trail are closed. Resurrection Pass South trail is closed to Devil’s Creek junction. This includes the Trout Lake, Romig, Juneau Lake, and Swan Lake cabins. Resurrection Pass North trail is open and cabin rentals are still valid. Please visit www.fs.usda.gov/chugach for maps of the closure order area.

Attention pilots. A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place over both the Stetson Creek and Juneau Lake fires.

Weather conditions are expected to be warm and dry for the next seven days. It is Solstice weekend and as you are out enjoying the extended daylight hours, exercise caution and report any fires or smoke. Most areas of the Chugach National Forest are open and a hike on the upper Kenai Peninsula trails or a drive and picnic at Portage are great ways to enjoy the forest this weekend.

Visit www.akfireinfo.com for the latest updates on fires across the state.  More information and updates on the Stetson Creek and Juneau Lake fires can be found at www.inciweb.nwcg.gov, @ChugachForestAK or www.fs.usda.gov/chugach. For general fire information, call (907) 743-9500.

Media Contact: Jean Goad, 218.259.0929, jmgoad52@gmail.com

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