Swan Lake Fire – Sept. 4 – Daily Update


Firefighters work along constructed dozer line north of Skilak Lake.

Portions of Kenai River to Reopen Today

Starting today, a portion of the Kenai River will be reopened for boating on a limited basis. The river will be open to boating between Cooper Landing Boat Launch to Sportsman’s Landing from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Complete information on this may be found at https://tinyurl.com/yyxy8bc4.

The Sterling Highway is open – delays and pilot cars are possible due to road construction. The Skilak Lake Loop Road is anticipated to be closed for the foreseeable future due to firefighting efforts along the road and danger from falling trees. 

Overview: Fire activity and growth is expected to be minimal due to yesterday’s precipitation. A warming and drying trend over the next few days will bring lower humidity levels and slightly warmer temperatures. Heavy fuels such as large trees remain dry and available to burn; smoke will continue to be seen throughout the fire perimeter. Low to moderate surface fire is anticipated to remain within the current fire perimeter.  No significant precipitation is anticipated until the middle of next week.

Firefighters are working to secure and improve firelines along the southwest towards Sterling and along the southeast towards Cooper Landing. On the southern flank of the fire, handcrews continue their work to mop up firelines south of the Kenai River into the Kenai Wilderness. On the eastern side of the fire, crews will continue to strengthen control lines on the Fuller Lake Trail north of the highway. Handcrews and mechanized equipment will be used on both sides of Juneau Creek to prevent the fire from moving south. Crews will continue to work on structure protection in Cooper Landing, improving defensible space around values at risk including homes and the powerline corridor.

Unmanned aircraft system (UAS) drones are being used on various areas of both the Swan Lake and Caribou Lake fires to detect areas of heat near firelines.

The community of Cooper Landing remains in a READY evacuation status.

The Caribou Lake Fire, 25 miles northeast of Homer, remains at 904 acres, with 92% containment and 78 firefighters assigned.

Restrictions: The burn closure for the Kenai Peninsula Borough Area on state, private, and municipal lands has been rescinded. The area closures for public lands surrounding and including the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and Chugach National Forest remain in place to provide needed public and firefighter safety. Information on these closures is available at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6387/.

Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR): Due to the area that the fire is utilizing for air operations, the TFR for has been reduced. The current TFR in place for air space over the Swan Lake Fire (9/2925 NOTAM) will lessen impacts to local aviation operators. 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.

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