Swan Lake Fire – Area Closures

Anchorage, AK—August 28, 2019—Due to concern for public health and safety related to the Swan Lake wildfire activity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Forest Service have issued emergency area closure orders for portions of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and the Chugach National Forest – Seward Ranger District. Click here to view the map and notices packet: https://tinyurl.com/08292018-Area-Closure-Notice

Closures for the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge include specific lands adjacent to and including the Swan Lake Fire north of Sterling Highway and all public facilities and lands within the Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area. Consult the Refuge Closure Order and map for detailed description.

Closures for the Chugach National Forest include:

All National Forest Service (NFS) lands and facilities south of American Creek to its intersection with Resurrection Pass Trail

All NFS lands west of Resurrection Pass Trail to Devils Creek Trail

All NFS lands southwest of the Devils Creek Trail to Quartz Creek

All NFS lands west of Quartz Creek and north of the Sterling Highway to the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge/National Forest boundary

All NFS lands east of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge/National Forest boundary to American Creek

Orders for the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge can be found here: https://www.fws.gov/refuge/kenai/

Orders for the Chugach National Forest can be found here:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/chugach/alerts-notices

Dangerous conditions within the burned area can cause serious injury. Deep ash pits can form in burned organic (duff) layer in a forest, can stay hot under the surface where trees have burned down to the roots, and often visually blend into the ground, making them hard to see. Stepping into an ash pit can cause serious burns. Burned trees have lost their root systems, leaving them weak. Trees can fall down in even light winds. The resulting downfall can change trail access and create challenging hiking conditions where trails were easily accessible in the past.

After reviewing the closure areas for the Refuge and Forest, prepare wisely for recreational trips and include the possibility that changing conditions will affect plans. The open fire burn restriction (burn ban) remains in effect. Warming/cooking fires are not permitted. The Swan Lake Fire perimeter map (attached) is helpful as a guide though the fire remains active and may not be accurate due to fire growth. Consult the individual orders for details.

#SwanLakeFire

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