Swan Lake Fire Fact Sheet & Map – September 12, 2019

Thursday, September 12, 2019 at 9:00 AM
Location: 5 miles northeast of Sterling, AK
Incident Command: Type 2 Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 4, Rick Connell, I.C.

Size: 163,714 acres Containment: 37% Personnel: 375

Current Status: Yesterday, fire crews continued to work on the fire lines checking fire spread and suppressing hot spots on the southeast side of the fire near the Fuller Lakes Trail and Trout Lake. A helicopter was used to help cool the areas of heat near the Fuller Lakes Trail. South of the river and on the south side of the fire crews continued to patrol and mop up where needed. Over on the southwest side of the fire crews continued to cut fire weakened trees that may fall, and chip up brush along the Skilak Road. In Cooper Landing the structure protection group continued their work on structure protection tasks and planning by improving defensible space and testing pumps and sprinklers. Fire behavior was subdued overall but areas with pockets of heat were active and some areas of interior smoke increased slightly due to periods of sunshine and temperatures in the 60s.

Planned Actions: Firefighters will continue to work along the eastern side of the fire cutting fire weakened trees and chipping brush along the Skilak Road. Existing lines on the south side of the fire will continue to be patrolled by firefighters. Fire crews will return to the areas where heat has been found the past few days and continue to work directly on cooling those spots along the southeastern side of the fire. A weather system producing rain and higher winds is expected to pass over the fire area later on Thursday and overnight through Friday. Winds are predicted to be 15-25 mph with potential higher gusts. The safety of firefighters on the line will be evaluated frequently due to this weather forecast. High winds and rain pose a risk to fire crews working around fire weakened trees and steep slopes. Fire behavior is expected to remain low during this time although the heavy fuels and ground duff layers will continue to hold heat.

Key Message: A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) remains in effect over the Swan Lake Fire airspace. Aircraft assigned to the fire are still actively working within the TFR. There are fixed wing planes, helicopters, and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or drones assigned and in use. All these aircraft are flying at different altitudes within the TFR. When traveling on the Skilak Road which was recently reopened to the boat launch, visitors need to be aware that hazardous conditions exist in the burned areas that can be difficult to see. Standing trees can be weakened as the fire burns the organic duff layer surrounding their roots. The fire has burned very deep in some places, leaving ash pits behind.

Restrictions: An area closure remains in effect for a channel on the south side of the Kenai River from approximately River Mile 69.5 to River Mile 71.5. The Kenai River remains closed beyond Jim’s Landing to Skilak Lake. The Lower Skilak campground and day use facility remains closed. All the lands off the Lower Skilak boat access road, including Marsh Lake and day use facilities remain closed. Additionally all refuge lands that have been burned are closed to public access. Information on these closures is available at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6387/.

Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR): The current TFR in place for air space over the Swan Lake Fire (9/2925 NOTAM) will lesson impacts to local aviation operators. Remember that temporary flight restrictions also apply to unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or drones. If you fly, we can’t!

Cooperating Agencies: US Fish and Wildlife Service, State of Alaska Division of Forestry, US Forest Service, Alaska State Parks, Kenai Peninsula Borough, Central Emergency Services, Cooper Landing Volunteer Fire Department, Alaska State Troopers, National Guard, Alaska Department of Transportation, Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

• Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6387/
• Email: 2019.swanlake@firenet.gov
• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kpbalerts/
• Alaska Fire Info: https://akfireinfo.com
• Public Information Phone: (208) 391-3488
• Kenai Peninsula Borough: http://kpboem.com/

Go to https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/6387/51085/ , for a printable copy of the Swan Lake Fire Fact Sheet.

Go to https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/map/6387/0/96308, for a printable copy of the Swan Lake Fire Incident Map.

Please go to https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/6387/51066/ for the most current openings and closures in the area of the Swan Lake Fire.

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