Swan Lake Fire Fact Sheet 09/16/19 10:30

#SwanLakeFire

Location: 5 miles northeast of Sterling, AK

Incident Command: Type 2 Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 4, Rick Connell, I.C.

Size:      165,085 acres                           Containment: 48%             Personnel: 286

Community Meeting: A Community Meeting is scheduled for 6:00pm today, 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: Along the southwestern side of the fire area firefighters continued to work on some pockets of heat along a dozer line and cutting fire weakened trees near the Lower Skilak Boat Launch road. The south side of the fire was not staffed. On the southeastern side of the fire crews continued to work on hot spots along the fire line near the Fuller Lakes Trail. The Structure Protection crews started working in the Russian Gap Road area where it was dry enough to do so. Afternoon rain slowed work in some of the areas when it became too wet to move equipment and crews around. Fire behavior remained low due to the rain and humidity. The change in fire size was due to acreage of previously unburned interior islands, there has been no increase on the perimeter.

Planned Actions: Field operations will continue with a plan of work similar to the past several days. The south side of the fire will be unstaffed and monitored by air when it is possible to fly. Fire crews will continue to work their way east along the Skilak Road cutting fire weakened trees and chipping brush. On the southeastern side of the fire area firefighters will return to the Fuller Lakes Trail area to continue to work on cooling hot spots. The weather forecast indicates that the rain showers will end in the early morning and a ridge of high pressure will build up with some areas of clearing in the afternoon. Fire behavior and spread potential is expected to remain low throughout the day although the heavy fuels and ground duff layers continue to be dry and are holding 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.

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About 2019swanlakefireinfo

The Swan Lake Fire was started by lightning on June 5th, 2019, in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

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