Card Street Fire update, June 25

Fire Status

Acres Burned: 8,819

Cause: Human – Under Investigation

Structures Destroyed: 11

Evacuations: None

Closures: West end of Skilak Loop Road and campgrounds

Containment: 30%

Resources

Crews: 12

Engines: 8

Dozers: 1

Water Tenders: 2

Helicopters: 2

Total personnel: approx. 425

Injuries: 3 (small cut, heat related illness)

Incident Summary: The Card Street fire is in the marshlands and recreation area of Skilak Lake. ¬†The fire is established in a full suppression area of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and all actions are being taken to keep the fire at the smallest possible acreage. The fire has burned 8,819 acres since it began on June 15th and is now 30% contained. The increased acreage is a result of yesterday’s controlled burn along the southeast perimeter.

Current Situation: A burnout operation occurred yesterday afternoon on the southeast corner of the fire in the Skilak Lake boat ramp area. Fire personnel used aerial ignition to burn approximately 2,000 acres of unburned spruce and improved the fireline significantly.

Isolated pockets of heat will continue to be seen in the interior of the fire. Residents are urged to only call 911 is it is an imminent threat to life or property or the fire is growing in intensity. Heat found within 400 feet of any structure will be extinguished. Fire personnel will use hand held infrared devices to detect pockets of heat that can’t be detected by the eye; they will be marked and extinguished. Crews continue to construct and strengthen firelines around the entire perimeter. A total of 425 personnel are assigned to the incident, including 12 fire crews, 8 fire engines, and 2 helicopters.

Burn Restrictions: The Alaska Division of Forestry prohibits the use of all open fires and activities which unduly increase the fire danger.

Until further notice all cooking, warming, signaling fires or any type of fire are prohibited on state lands, including state park units, and private and municipal lands within Game Management Units 7, 13, 14, 15, and 16. The term “open fires” refers to any flame source not immediately extinguishable or controllable and applies to any form of wood or charcoal-based fire, even in established fire rings. Gas grills, backpacking or camp stoves using fuel or compressed canisters which can be regulated and shut off are still permitted for use. Fireworks are prohibited in the Kenai Borough. More information can be found at http://www.kpboem.com or http://akfireinfo.com

Weather Outlook: Temperatures are expected to top out at 71 degrees, with mostly cloudy skies and east winds at 5-7 mph in the afternoon.

Closures: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has closed Skilak Loop Road at the west entrance at the Sterling Highway to milepost 9.3 at the Engineer Lake Overloop. the road is open on the east end, to the upper Skilak Lake boat launch. Motorists are encouraged to please be cautious of changing fire conditions and fire personnel in the area. All campgrounds, public use cabins, and trails with the Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area remain closed to aid fire operations until further notice. Tickets will be issued to those violating the closures.

Injuries: There have been three minor injuries; a small cut finger and heat related illnesses.

Cooperating Agencies: Alaska Division of Forestry, Alaska State Troopers, Kenai Peninsula Borough, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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