Swan Lake Fire Fact Sheet 09/15/19

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: 48% Personnel: 305

Community Meeting: A Community Meeting is scheduled for 6:00pm on Monday, Sept. 16, 2019 at the Cooper Landing School, 19030 Bean Creek Road, Cooper Landing. Fire operations personnel and local agency representatives will be in attendance to provide updates regarding the fire and be available to answer questions following the updates.
Current Status: Fire Crews have made good progress working along the Skilak Road cutting fire weakened trees and chipping brush. The south side of the fire was patrolled by air during the afternoon. Firefighters continued to cool hot spots and mop up along the southeastern side of the fire near the Fuller Lakes Trail where heat has been found over the past few days. The Structure Protection crews finished chipping work along the Bean Creek Road and started working near the Russian Gap and in and around Cooper Landing. The weather was briefly drier and warmer which caused a little more smoke in the air however, fire behavior remained low due to the recent moisture and humidity.

Planned Actions: The south side of the fire will continue to be monitored by aircraft. Firefighters will work along the Skilak Road cutting fire weakened trees and chipping brush. On the southeastern side of the fire crews will return to the Fuller Lakes Trail area where heat has been found over the past few days and continue to work on cooling the hot spots. The weather forecast includes rain starting by late morning over the fire area and cooler temperatures. Fire behavior is expected to remain low during the day although the heavy fuels and ground duff layers continue to hold heat.

Key Message: When traveling on the reopened section of the Skilak Road to the reopened Lower Skilak area and 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. Any amount of wind will blow these trees down. In addition, the fire has burned very deep in some places, leaving hot ash pits behind. Please remember to keep pets and children close at hand and out of the burned area to prevent injuries.

Restrictions/Closures: 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 remains closed. All the lands off the Lower Skilak boat access road, including Marsh Lake Trailhead 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 (9/9687 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.

Click here for a printable version of this Fact Sheet.

Categories: AK Fire Info

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