Swan Lake Fire Update – September 2, 2019

A firefighter carries fire hose near Engineer Lake Cabin.

The strongest winds in two weeks occurred yesterday. All containment lines held and no wind-related injuries occurred Sustained ten mile-per-hour south to southwest winds and gusts over 20 miles per hour were clocked. Winds today are forecast to be slightly diminished. Temperatures will mimic those of yesterday. Rain continues in parts of the peninsula, but no appreciable moisture is expected over the fire.

Numerous fire-weakened trees along the highway and southwest flank of the fire were blown down, but did not present an immediate concern. Recognizing that hazard to firefighters, activities inside the fire perimeter were curtailed. Rough water prevented boat travel to some locations on the south flank and air turbulence grounded aircraft operations. Some isolated pockets of fuel rekindled on the southwest flank, but all were addressed. Generally, wet conditions continued to favor suppression efforts.

Cooper Landing: Suppression operations have settled into a relatively consistent pattern. Crews will continue to construct line with aircraft support (weather permitting), up the Resurrection Pass Trail north of Cooper Landing. The structure protection group is working diligently to complete measures to protect the Cooper Landing community if the fire threat increases. From the Sterling Highway south across the Kenai River, firefighters will proceed with mop up (seeking out and extinguishing hot spots) from the fire’s edge and extending a specified distance (100 feet in this instance) into the burned area.

Cooper Landing remains in a SET evacuation status.

Sterling: With the exception of some isolated small flare-ups inside the line, fire activity on the southeastern flank has been minimal for several days. As a result, greater progress on meeting mop up objectives has been made there than other portions of the fire. Along the north shore of Skilak Lake, mop up is proceeding with an emphasis on the areas adjacent to the campgrounds and other improvements.

Affected Sterling neighborhoods remain in a READY evacuation status.

Holiday Travel Advisory: Expect delays on the Sterling Highway between Sterling and the junction with the Seward Highway. The Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management has the latest information at kpboem.com, on Facebook at KPB Alerts and at their call center at 907-262-INFO (4636).

Closures: The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and Chugach National Forest have issued area closures for public lands surrounding and including the Swan Lake Fire to provide needed public and firefighter safety. The orders and accompanying maps are available at local U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Chugach National Forest offices and online at http://kpboem.blogspot.com/2019/08/082919-kenai-national-wildlife-refuge.html

Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR): A TFR is in place for air space over the Swan Lake Fire (9/7677 NOTAM) and was expanded August 31 (9/1493 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.

For a printable version of the complete update, click here.

For a printable version of the fire map, click here.

Categories: AK Fire Info


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