Swan Lake Fire Update – August 22, 2019

Swan Lake Fire Map – August 22, 2019

A community meeting will be held at the Sterling Community Center on Thursday at 6:00 pm.

On Wednesday, dozers and handcrews completed a containment line from the Sterling Highway south to Skilak Lake to limit the fire’s spread to the west toward Sterling. Engines and crews, with helicopter support, worked on both sides of the highway Wednesday afternoon to minimize future impacts to travel along the highway corridor. Firefighters began to reestablish contingency lines on the north side of the Sterling Highway west of the Resurrection Trail corridor to limit the fire’s spread to the east, on the north side of the highway. Additionally, crews continued to implement structure protection measures in the Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area and the Resurrection Trail corridor. The Great Basin Incident Management Team 1 hosted a community meeting at the Cooper Landing School to provide an update on the fire response and the ongoing coordination with local, host agencies.

On Thursday, crews will begin securing containment lines to the south of the Sterling Highway to reduce the potential for future highway closures. Firefighters will continue to reestablish contingency lines on the north side of the Sterling Highway west of the Resurrection Trail corridor to limit the fire’s spread to the east, on the north side of the highway. Engines will work in Cooper Landing to become oriented to the existing structure protection assessments. Tactical firefighting aircraft will be used to check the fire’s spread in critical areas throughout the fire, but aviation use has been limited because of the smoke. A contingency of firefighters are available to respond to any new fire starts in the area, if needed.

Weather: On Thursday, temperatures are expected to be in the mid-60s, with a minimum relative humidity value of 39 percent. Winds will be 5-12 mph out of the southeast. Increased cloud cover is expected to moderate fire behavior during much of the day. There is a 10 percent chance of precipitation on Thursday. The increased cloud cover and higher relative humidity values are expected to persist through Friday.

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. The Upper Kenai River between the Cooper Landing State Boat Launch and where the river enters Skilak Lake is closed to all public use. 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 (9/5040 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.

Categories: AK Fire Info

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