Weather Moderates Swan Lake Fire Activity and Smoke Impacts; Crews Continue to Establish Control Lines on East Side of Fire

Fire behavior was minimal yesterday.  The east flank of the fire continues to smolder in the Chickaloon, Thurman, and Mystery Creek drainages with minimal growth potential in the next 72 hours. Crews are utilizing existing trails as direct fire lines and natural features to establish control lines to check eastward fire spread.  These improvements will reduce the chance of fire spread in the future, resulting in more fire resilient landscapes and communities. The west flank of the fire has been kept in check by a system of marshy areas and control lines. Mop up efforts remain a challenge as extremely dry fuels are very susceptible to ignition.

Kootenai #1 fire crew prepares fire line on the eastern area of the Swan Lake fire. Photo by:
Johnathan Ashford, Fire Information Officer

Firefighters are patrolling along the Sterling Highway.  Alaska State Troopers and US Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Officers are monitoring for visibility impacts due to smoke and fog on Sterling and Seward Highways.  Fire progression has been assessed in areas of concern and long term strategic objectives have been met and are assessed daily. Fire resources will also support initial attack efforts as requested by local fire fighting units.  Recreation structures to the north and northwest have firefighting personnel and structure protection efforts in place.

July 14 Swan Lake Fire Public Information Map – click here

WEATHER:  Temperatures in the lower 70s will continue through the weekend along with mostly cloudy skies in the morning with partial clearing during the afternoon and evening. General winds will be east to southeasterly. There is a chance that the fire area will receive some light precipitation on Monday with scattered showers continuing over the mountains on Tuesday. A high pressure system will possibly set up over the Peninsula in the later part of the week.

AIR QUALITY: Light southeast winds will likely push smoke from the fire to the north giving local communities improved air quality.  Cooper Landing and sections of Sterling Highway could see come light smoke impacts overnight. For smoke forecasts from Alaska wildfires, visit UAFSMOKE at http://smoke.alaska.edu.

SAFETY:  Watch for construction zones and smoke along the Sterling Highway. Law enforcement officers are monitoring smoke conditions for visibility impacts.  Please use headlights. For current road conditions visit http://511.alaska.gov.

The Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) includes the western portion of the Chugach National Forest and the Sterling Highway corridor. Pilots can confirm the current TFR restrictions at http://tfr.faa.gov. The use of drones in the TFR and the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is not permitted.

FIRE RESTRICTIONS: Open fires and campfires are prohibited on the Kenai Peninsula and in other areas of Alaska. For further information, please contact the appropriate agencies listed below.

Kenai National Wildlife Refuge: http://kenai.fws.gov 907-262-7021 or 907-260-2820

Chugach National Forest: www.fs.usda.gov/chugach 907-288-3178

Alaska Division of Forestry: www.akfireinfo.com www.facebook.com/AK.Forestry/ 907-356-5511

Alaska Division of State Parks: www.dnr.alaska.gov 907-262-5581

Kenai Peninsula Borough: www.kpboem.blogspot.com 907-262-4636

Kenai Fjords National Park: https://www.nps.gov/kefj/index.htm 907-422-0500

CLOSURES: For closure information regarding the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge within the Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area, go to http://kenai.fws.gov or call 907-262-7021 or 907-260-2820.  There are partial area closures near Resurrection Pass Trail and some facilities, trails, and roads within the Chugach National Forest. 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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