9/3/19 – 9:40 AM – Swan Lake Fire Update

Community meetings will be held tonight at the Cooper Landing School and Sterling Community Center, both at 6:00 p.m.

Last night’s rain brought one-fifth to a half inch of rain over the fire area. Occasional light afternoon showers are possible over the next several days and the next chance for significant precipitation will be this weekend. Fire behavior will continue to be moderated with near normal humidity levels. Despite the recent moisture, fuels remain dry and available to burn.

The Sterling Highway is now open while the Skilak Lake Road remains closed. Construction will resume on the highway and pilot cars and flaggers will be used in these areas. Continue to drive with caution in the fire area.

Community meetings will be held tonight at 6:00 pm at the Cooper Landing School and at the Sterling Community Center. Agency officials will be on hand to discuss the status of the fire and answer questions. The Cooper Landing meeting will be broadcast via Facebook Live at KPB Alerts.

Cooper Landing: Cooper Landing has been downgraded to a READY evacuation status. Firefighters will continue to work to increase defensible space around structures in Cooper Landing. Firefighters will improve control lines on the Fuller Lake Trail north of the highway. Handcrews and mechanized equipment will be used on both sides of Juneau Creek, in order to prevent spread of the fire towards the south, if it becomes active again.

Sterling: The READY evacuation status for Sterling has been removed. The progress of the fire southwest towards Sterling has been halted. Crews will continue to work in the area towards meeting mop up objectives of the fire.

Caribou Lake: The team has also maintained command of the Caribou Lake Fire, 25 miles northeast of Homer. The fire is currently 904 acres and is 92% contained. An aerial drone will continue to be used on the fire to monitor for areas of heat within the fireline. Seventy eight firefighters remain on the fire and the team remains prepared to take additional action if necessary.

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 https://tinyurl.com/y55qaot2.

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 complete Fire Update, click here.

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