Cooler Weather Reduces Swan Lake Fire Activity; Public Meeting Well Attended

Today’s mapping shows the completed control line on the southwest corner of the fire along the East Fork of the Moose River.  The containment line is now connected from Sterling Highway to the wetland areas (muskeg) along the south and west side of the fire.  This is significant because it keeps the fire from moving further west toward Sterling.  The control line in this area is now complete and will remain for years to come.  In addition, the total containment of the fire is 24%.

July 11 Swan Lake Fire Public Information Map – click here

Ahead of the fire, firefighters continue to thin brush and understory vegetation along the Skyline Trail and Fuller Lakes Trail on the east side of the fire perimeter near Cooper Landing.  The purpose of this effort is to reduce the chance of the fire spreading east along the highway corridor.  In addition, crews are clearing vegetation in and around public use cabins near Resurrection Pass Trail.  These improvements will reduce the chance of fire spread in the future, resulting in more fire resilient landscapes and communities.

Fire personnel will be working in and around the Cooper Landing area assessing properties for structure and property protection actions if needed.  This is an excellent opportunity for residents to learn about creating defensible space to make their properties more fire resistant.

A public meeting was held last night (Wednesday, July 10) at Cooper Landing School. Approximately 160 people attended the meeting to listen to a fire status update and ask questions. The meeting was coordinated by Northwest Incident Management Team 13.

Incident Commander, Brian Gales, provides an update and answers questions about the Swan Lake fire to meeting attendees at Cooper Landing School.

WEATHER: A marine layer brought in patchy morning clouds and will burn off from east to west through the morning.  It will be partly cloudy to mostly sunny in the afternoon.  Highs in the lower 70s expected with lows in the mid-40s.  Winds will be light, 4-8 mph, throughout the day and into the night.  There is very little chance of rain expected today.

AIR QUALITY: The change in wind direction has provided some relief to areas impacted by smoke. Real-time air quality readings are available 24-hours a day at http://tools.airfire.org . Click on the Monitoring PM2.5 tab to find readings. For smoke forecasts from Alaska wildfires, visit UAFSMOKE at http://smoke.alaska.edu.

SAFETY: Along the Sterling Highway watch for construction zones, and smoke on the roadway. Dip-netting season is now underway significantly increasing traffic.  Please use headlights and caution, 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.

FIRE RESTRICTIONS: Open fires are prohibited on Kenai Peninsula State Park, Kenai NWR, Chugach NF, and Kenai Fjords NP.  For the latest updates please contact the Refuge Visitor Center at 907-260-2820 or go to http://kenai.fws.gov.  In addition, Alaska Division of Forestry has prohibited campfires on Kenai Peninsula Burrough and other regions of Alaska.  Please contact the Alaska Division Forestry at 907-356-5511 for further information

CLOSURES: A partial area closure has been instituted in the area of the Resurrection Pass Trail. For the latest information on closures and fire restrictions please go to https://www.fs.usda.gov/news/chugach/news-events.

About 2019swanlakefireinfo

The Swan Lake Fire was started by lightning on June 5th, 2019, in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

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