Swan Lake Fire – August 24

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

Early Friday afternoon, fire activity picked up within the Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area. Helicopters and water scoopers were used on the fire area, which forced the temporary closure of Sterling Highway to provide for public and firefighter safety. Please be advised that firefighting operations may necessitate additional closures of the highway through the weekend. Closure information is available at akfireinfo.com, kpboem.com, and 511.alaska.gov. More visible smoke and fire activity is expected today, primarily south of the Sterling Highway within the recreation area. Three additional crews are arriving today to work on the fire.

Sterling: The southwest corner of the fire towards Sterling remains staffed and secure.

Cooper Landing: Direct fireline will be constructed toward Surprise Creek, to limit fire spread towards the Russian River. Along the Resurrection Trail, crews will work to improve contingency lines north of Sterling Highway and to identify control lines north and south of the highway to limit movement to the east. Please be advised that the Ready and Set lines on today’s map have been updated to provide for more timely notifications to the community.

Weather: Saturday’s weather conditions will be similar to those experienced on Friday with north to northwest winds, above average temperatures and similar relative humidity levels. These winds will aid in transporting the smoke plume back towards the south to southeast, which is anticipated to improve smoke conditions today in Sterling. While some portions of the fire experienced slight rains Friday evening, there remains only slight chances for a stray shower through the weekend with little to no wetting rains anticipated.

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 if 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 on the 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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