Fire continues to be active throughout the day as temperatures climb into the 90’s. Fine fuel moistures have reached critically low levels and fuels normally resistant to fire are becoming more available to burn. The east and northeast flanks are moving upslope with potential for short runs in Black Spruce stands. Helicopters will continue to provide water drops in the southeast corner of the fire to slow spread toward the Upper Jean Lake area. Crews will be assessing and developing a plan for fire containment in the Jean Lake area and along the Sterling Highway near the Skyline Trail as fire continues to spread in that direction. Mop up efforts along the southern edge are labor intensive as layers of duff continue to dry out allowing areas to re-burn. Interior pockets of unburned vegetation will continue to burn with an increase in fire activity expected. The northwest edge of the fire continues to smolder since reaching muskeg and marshy vegetation.
Air Quality: The National Weather Service has issued a Dense Smoke Advisory for the interior Kenai Pennisula that includes the Sterling Highway corridor from Sterling to Cooper Landing. According to the National Weather Service advises people with respiratory problems avoid outside activities.
An air quality monitoring station has been set up near Cooper Landing. Real time reports are available 24- hours a day at http://tools.airfire.org, click on the Monitoring PM2.5., and slide the map to Alaska to locate Cooper Landing. For more information on Air Quality, please visit www.dec.alaska.gov and click on Air Quality Advisories.
Additional Recreation Closures: The Fuller Lakes Trail, within the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, is now closed as fire personnel begin assessing the area for potential future operations should the fire continue moving to the east.
Residents are encouraged to take this opportunity to ensure their property is Firewise. For information about Firewise Communities and how to increase defensible space around your property, please visit http://forestry.alaska.gov/fire/firewise.
Campfires are restricted to enclosed fire rings/grates within designated campgrounds/cabins within the Kenai NWR, Kenai Fjords NP, Kenai Peninsula State Parks and Chugach NF lands on the Kenai Peninsula.
WEATHER: Temperatures will remain extremely hot and dry and continue to be in the low 90’s for the foreseeable future. Winds will be coming generally from the north with a high pressure system holding the smoke lower on the ground. Smoke remains a health and safety concern. For smoke forecasts from Alaska wildfires, visit UAFSMOKE at http://smoke.alaska.edu.
SAFETY: Construction continues along the Sterling Highway. Firefighters continue to patrol the area and construction workers are present. Please use lights and caution when driving. If visibility is reduced due to smoke impacts, traffic delays may be possible. For current road conditions visit http://511.alaska.gov. The Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) has expanded to include the western portion of the Chugach National Forest and still includes the Sterling Highway corridor to support suppression efforts and firefighter safety. Pilots can confirm the current TFR restrictions at http://tfr.faa.gov. Personal drone operation is not permitted on the refuge.
KENAI NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE INFORMATION: The following areas remain closed: Watson Lake CG, Peterson Lake CG, Kelly Lake CG, Jean Lake CG, Mystery Creek Road, Skyline Trail, Seven Lakes Trail, Fuller Lakes trail, Kelly Lake Cabin, Trapper Joe Cabin, Big Indian Cabin, East Fork Moose River, Watson Lake, Kelly Lake, Peterson Lake, Jean Lake and Bottenintin Lake. Contact the Refuge Visitor Center at 907-260-2820 or online at http://kenai.fws.gov.
Categories: AK Fire Info