Warm, Dry Weather Forecasted; Helicopters to assist Backhaul Missions

Daily Update for July 2

Sterling, AK – Significant rainfall over the past five days has saturated the upper layers of duff on the forest floor. The deeper layers of decaying vegetation remain dry, but considerable drying would have to occur before any fire activity could be detected, according to the Incident Fire Behavior Analyst, Mike Bowden.   

Residual heat is primarily on the interior of the fire or toward the north end, away from values at risk such as Sterling Highway, homes, and other improvements. It will be monitored by aircraft until fire personnel are certain it poses no danger to the public or the Sterling Highway. Monitoring may continue for months to come.

A break in the weather is forecasted for Monday, which will allow helicopters to fly in personnel to remove pumps, sprinklers, and other equipment from the fireline. Crews will continue repairing damage caused by suppression operations. They are re-establishing proper drainage on dozer lines, covering exposed soils with vegetation to reduce future erosion potential, and chipping piles of limbs and brush created during fireline construction

The Eastern Area Type 2 Incident Management Team (IMT) will transition to a smaller Alaska organization mid-week. This team will manage the fire.

WEATHER: Warmer and drier conditions will return today through Thursday. With the amount of previous precipitation, no increase in fire behavior is expected. 

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, fog, and smoke along the Sterling Highway. Please obey the speed limit and do not stop along the highway shoulder in order to protect firefighters, construction crews, and other drivers.  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. Current TFR details and NOTAM 9/0573 are available at: https://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_9_0573.html

Daily Update July 29

Swan Lake Fire Public Information Map

Open Fire Restrictions Interactive Map

Swan Lake Fire YouTube Channel

Smoke Outlook/Air Quality for Alaska South

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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