YESTERDAY: Northeastern portions of the fire in the Chickaloon Creek drainage received a significant amount of rain as thunderstorms moved across the fire area. Mystery Creek drainage and Upper Jean Lake in the southeastern corner of the fire did not receive the precipitation; smoke was visible from these locations into the evening hours. Secondary containment lines are in place east of the fire utilizing natural features and reducing fuels along existing trails as control lines. Crews continued to use helicopters to extinguish heat above Upper Jean Lake. The north and northwest sections of the fire were monitored by air and fire spread was minimal. The Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) will remain in effect until fire operations are complete. Violators of the TFR pose a significate risk to firefighters.
TODAY: Minimal fire growth is expected today. Firefighters will take advantage of cooler weather and increased relative humidity to focus on securing the southeast corner of the fire near Upper Jean Lake. Helicopters will assist handcrews extinguishing hot spots and reducing the potential for fire spread. Suppression repair crews will work in areas where the fire is no longer a threat. This entails firefighters to pick-up trash, remove used equipment, cover up mineral soil, and build waterbars. The protection of the Town of Sterling, the Sterling Highway corridor, and Cooper Landing are three main fire objectives that are nearing completion with the help from mild weather conditions.
WEATHER: Cooler temperatures and higher relative humidity is expected today with southwesterly winds. Warm dry air is expected to return on Sunday.
AIR QUALITY: Fog may impact travelers on Sterling Highway this morning, however smoke should not settle along the highway. The smoke is expected drift towards drift to the northeast. For smoke forecasts from Alaska wildfires, visit UAFSMOKE at http://smoke.alaska.edu.
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. Historically, there is no record of fire in the higher elevations. Natural fire on the landscape will remove areas of black spruce to reduce future large-scale fire impacts and create more fire resilient communities.
SAFETY: Watch for construction zones and smoke along the Sterling Highway. Helicopters will be active 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