Swan Lake Fire Prepares as Warmer Weather Arrives

YESTERDAY: Fire behavior was moderate. The east flank of the fire continued to smolder in the Chickaloon, Thurman, and Mystery Creek drainages with minimal spread. The west flank of the fire has been checked by a wet marshy area.

Latest Swan Lake Fire Public Information Map – Click here

TODAY: Firefighters will continue working on the east flank of the fire. Air operations will continue to address hot spots near Upper Jean Lake. The creek drainages are expected to have little growth potential in the next 48 hours. Crews are utilizing natural features and existing trails as fire lines to curb eastward fire spread. Brush removal along these trails 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 wetlands and control lines. Mop up efforts remain a challenge as extremely dry fuels are very susceptible to ignition.

SUMMARY: The Kenai Peninsula experiences fire annually, however the area of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge where the fire is burning has not seen fire since 1947. Also, areas at higher elevations in the mountains have no record of fire.  Natural fire on the landscape will remove some areas of black spruce to reduce future large-scale fire impacts.

Latest Swan Lake Fire Progression Map – Click Here

WEATHER:  Skies will clear out Wednesday with temperatures warming again and relative humidity dropping on Wednesday and Thursday. Southwesterly winds will push in Friday, bringing a warm, dry and breezy day to the fire, ahead of a brief cooling on Saturday.

AIR QUALITY: Cooper Landing may see smoke in the area in the afternoon and evening.  Sections of Sterling Highway may see light smoke 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. Helicopters will be very active in the southeast corner of the fire along Sterling highway near Upper Jean Lake. Please obey the speed limit and do not stop along the highway shoulder in order to protect firefighters, construction crews, and other drivers. Alaska State Troopers and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Officers are monitoring for visibility impacts due to smoke and fog on Sterling and Seward Highways. 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. The use of drones in the TFR and the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is not permitted. Pilots can confirm the current TFR restrictions at:https://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_9_0573.html

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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