Swan Lake Fire Update – August 21, 2019

Swan Lake Fire Map – August 21, 2019

A community meeting will be held at the Cooper Landing School on Wednesday at 6:00 pm, and at the Sterling Community Center on Thursday at 6:00 pm.

Firefighting activities on Tuesday were focused on developing a containment line on the west side of the fire, south of the Sterling Highway. Dozers, supported by firefighters, completed an initial containment line to limit the fire’s spread to the west. Firefighters also implemented structure protection measures in the Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area.

The Great Basin Incident Management Team 1 assumed command of the Swan Lake Fire on Wednesday at 7:00 am. Incident objectives continue to focus on firefighter and public safety, protecting the communities and infrastructure of Cooper Landing and Sterling, minimize the disruption to traffic along the Sterling Highway, and to protect other values on the landscape.

On Wednesday, firefighters will continue constructing control lines in the Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area on the south side of the Sterling Highway to limit the fire’s spread to the west toward Sterling. Crews will scout options for control features on the east side of the fire, south of the highway, and deploy fire hose in this area for future response actions. Firefighters will reestablish contingency lines on the north side of the Sterling Highway west of the Resurrection Trail corridor to use as primary control lines to limit the fire’s spread to the east, on the north side of the highway. They will also be implementing structure protection measures for the public use cabins in the Resurrection Trail corridor. Additionally, firefighters will scout opportunities to develop control features on the east side of the fire, south of the highway. Tactical firefighting aircraft will be used to check the fire spread in critical areas throughout the Swan Lake Fire.

Weather: On Wednesday, relative humidity values will decrease slightly, while temperatures increase somewhat. Clear skies will increase the solar heating. Winds will remain light, but switch to the east. Similar temperature and relative humidity values are forecast for Thursday.

Evacuations and Closures: The Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management has placed Cooper Landing and the Sterling neighborhoods east of Feuding Lane and east of Adkins Road in a READY status on Sunday (08/18/19) due to increased fire activity of the Swan Lake Fire. A READY notification is NOT a notice to leave. This notification means that you must be ready for potential evacuation. There is a fire in your local area. Assist family members with special needs, arrange to move mobile property (boats, trailers, ATV), and prepare pets or livestock. Monitor social media, news and radio for information.  Check for further information on http://www.kpboem.com, or call the Borough Call Center at 907-262-INFO (4636) for updates.

Closures in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge include the entire length of Skilak Lake Road and all adjacent recreational trails and day use areas. The Russian River Ferry is closed. Closures in Chugach National Forest include the Russian River Campground, K’Beq Day Use Area, Russian River Falls, and the Russian Lakes Trail from the Russian River Campground south including Barber Cabin. Closures remain in place on Resurrection Pass Trail from the junction of Devil’s Pass south to the Sterling Highway. This closure includes the following public use cabins: West Swan Lake, Swan Lake, Trout, Romig, and Juneau.

Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR): A TFR is in place for air space over the Swan Lake Fire (9/3271 NOTAM). The TFR includes unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), or drones, as well. Flying drones near wildfires could cause injury or death to firefighters as a result of a mid-air collision with tactical firefighting aircraft.

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