Focus shifts to Coal Creek Fire on the Kenai Peninsula

Lightning-caused fires on the Kenai Peninsula continue to produce visible smoke as firefighters shifted focus from the Tustumena Lake Fire to the Coal Creek Fire today. Chugachmuit’s Yukon Type 2 Initial Attack Fire Crew and the Division of Forestry’s Pioneer Peak Interagency Hotshot Crew wrapped up work on the Tustumena Lake Fire, which was called 100 percent controlled at 176 acres today. A squad from the hotshot crew and a helicopter equipped with a water bucket were already working on the five-acre Coal Creek Fire that is burning in heavy dead and down trees from the 2014 Funny River Fire. The rest of the crew moved to join them today. This fire is one of seven active fires burning on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. It is burning about 4.5 miles off of the Sterling Highway near mile 103. The others include the Kelly-Peterson Fire, the Peterson Fire, the Mile 70 Powerline Fire and the Watson Fire, are all listed at under an acre and being monitored. The Swan Lake Fire is the largest of the Kenai Peninsula fires at 471 acres as of this morning. It is burning predominately in black spruce on the refuge and producing smoke that is very visible in the surrounding area and even Anchorage Friday night. Is is about 12 miles northeast of Sterling and was placed on monitor status because is it in a limited management option area and not threatening and valuable resources.

Fire updates are available via the Forestry Public Information Office at (907)260-4262, or via the emergency management blog at KPBOEM.com.

About BLM Alaska Fire Service

The Bureau of Land Management Alaska Fire Service (AFS) located at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, provides wildland fire suppression services for over 244 million acres of Department of the Interior and Native Corporation Lands in Alaska. In addition, AFS has other statewide responsibilities that include: interpretation of fire management policy; oversight of the BLM Alaska Aviation program; fuels management projects; and operating and maintaining advanced communication and computer systems such as the Alaska Lightning Detection System. AFS also maintains a National Incident Support Cache with a $10 million inventory. The Alaska Fire Service provides wildland fire suppression services for America’s “Last Frontier” on an interagency basis with the State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources, USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Military in Alaska.

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