Swan Lake Fire Remains Active; Next Community Meeting at Cooper Landing Set for July 10th

Information Officer “Bud” Sexton provides information about the Swan Lake Fire to visitors at the Russian River Ferry Launch near Cooper Landing

Hot, dry weather is challenging fire personnel in all areas of the fire. The east flank continues to move upslope and into higher elevations along the mountain ridge line. As elevation changes, so does the vegetation available to burn. This change is expected to reduce opportunities for fire to move above ground level resulting in slower fire spread and lower intensity burning. Ground fire, combined with clearing of Black Spruce stands, is effective at further reducing available vegetation for future fires.

Crews are working to improve the Skyline Trail to create a fuel break along the southeast corner of the fire to prevent fire spread along the highway. Helicopters will continue to utilize water drops to cool areas producing heat north of Upper Jean Lake.

The containment line north of the Homer Electric transmission line is holding well as small areas of interior vegetation burn, further increasing the depth of the fuel break created to protect the community of Sterling and the Sterling Highway.

Firefighters continue to mop up and secure fire lines along the west side of the fire. Crews are monitoring the 2017 East Fork scar where fire is clearing layers of duff and remaining dead and downed trees. Consumption of these materials will strengthen fire lines created to prevent future fire spread to the west. Smoldering will continue along the northwest edge as marshy areas limit fire spread. Point protection of public use facilities and ENSTAR pipeline facilities to the north remain in place as fire movement is being monitored by air. Wetlands help slow fire spread and provide a natural fuel break extending beyond the man-made containment lines.

The next community Meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 10, 2019, at 6:00 PM at the Cooper Landing Elementary School, 19030 Bean Creek Road, Cooper Landing, Alaska.

Air Quality: Air quality monitoring stations have been set up near Cooper Landing and Seward. Real time reports are available 24-hours a day at http://tools.airfire.org and click on the Monitoring PM2.5. For smoke forecasts from Alaska wildfires, visit UAFSMOKE at http://smoke.alaska.edu.

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.

Is your home fire resistant? Now is the perfect time to assess your home’s susceptibility to wildfire. For information about Firewise Communities and how to increase defensible space around your home, please visit http://forestry.alaska.gov/fire/firewise.

WEATHER: The weather pattern will continue hot and dry with high temperatures around 90-degrees through Monday. Later in the week, high temperatures are expected to decrease as clouds and relative humidity increase. Winds have been predominately out of the north but a change to a southerly direction is anticipated.

July 7 Swan Lake Fire Public Information Map – click here

SAFETY: Firefighters continue to patrol the fire perimeter and overnight construction has resumed along the Sterling Highway. Please use lights and caution when driving as firefighters, construction personnel, and emergency vehicles may be operating along the highway. Traffic delays may occur if visibility becomes reduced due to smoke, especially during the overnight hours. 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. 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

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