YESTERDAY: 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. Firefighters completed protection efforts at the historic Harry Johnson cabin located north of the fire perimeter. Recently, multiple aircraft are violating the Swan Lake Fire Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR), which creates the potential for a serious accident. The hazard may impact air operations on the fire if pilots, including drones, continue to violate the TFR.
TODAY: Firefighters on the east flank of the fire continue to improve control lines and secure hot spots in advance of weather conditions that may bring more active fire behavior the next several days. Crews are utilizing natural features and reducing fuels along existing trails as control lines to curb 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 wetlands and control lines. Mop up efforts (extinguishing and removing burning material near control lines) remains 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.
WEATHER: Conditions are expected to become warmer, drier and windier. Temperatures are expected to climb to the low 80’s with northwesterly winds in the morning, shifting to northeasterly winds in the afternoon.
AIR QUALITY: Cooper Landing could 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 Law 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. Violators of the TFR will be reported to the FAA. The use of drones in the TFR and the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge are not permitted. Current TFR details and NOTAM 9/0573 is available at: https://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_9_0573.html.
Categories: AK Fire Info