Daily Update for July 30
This will be the final update for the Swan Lake Fire unless significant activity occurs. For further area, trail, and campground information, please call the office or visit the website for each respective land management agency.
Sterling, AK – As the workload for the Swan Lake Fire nears completion, the Eastern Area Type 2 Incident Management Team (IMT) will transition to a local Alaska IMT Wednesday, July 31. This smaller organization will continue repair work and monitor the wildfire for any change in fire activity.
A warming and drying trend is predicted for the Kenai Peninsula into the beginning of August, but no increase in fire activity is expected for the Swan Lake Fire. This break in the weather is allowing firefighters to utilize helicopters to assist with the removal of pumps, hoses, sprinklers, and other equipment from remote locations in and around the fire area. Crews have completed the majority of suppression repair work including chipping brush piles and repairing containment lines built by dozers and crews. This work should be completed within the next few days.
More than two inches of rain has fallen on the fire area over the last week, saturating the upper layers of duff on the forest floor. The deeper duff layers remain dry, but considerable drying would have to occur before any increase in fire activity could occur. Heat remains within the fire perimeter and some areas are expected to smolder for the foreseeable future. Acreage has not increased since July 22. The fire will be monitored by air until fire managers are certain it poses no danger to values at risk, such as cabins, infrastructure, the Sterling Highway, and other improvements.
SAFETY: The Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) has been lifted as of 11:00 p.m. Monday, July 29. Continue to 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 use of drones in the TFR and the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is not permitted.
SUMMARY:The Kenai Peninsula experiences fire annually, however, the area of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge where the fire has been burning has not seen fire since 1947. Also, there is no historical 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, create more fire resilient communities, and provide improved wildlife habitat.
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Categories: AK Fire Info