NOTE:

This blog is maintained as an effort to coordinate and collocate responding agencies' information for easier public access during events on the Kenai Peninsula. The information here is written and provided by the contributing agencies. NOTE: The blog will be updated as the need arises and may be dormant at times..

Friday, December 11, 2015

CURRENT: This blog will be reactivated as the need arises.

The agencies that post to this blog and the viewers that promote it are the key to distributing accurate, timely information during an emergency. This blog will be updated when the need arises. Thank you.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

UPDATE - Second Dumpster Site Provided to Sterling Residents Impacted by the Card Street Fire

Solid Waste Notification: A dumpster has been placed on the corner of Alamo and Clearing. This dumpster and the Trout Lane dumpsters (near the intersection of Kenai Keys/Feuding Ln) are available for households impacted by the Card Street Fire. Solid waste collection is limited to fire-related, household debris only.

This service will only be available from July 11- 25, 2015.

No construction, bulky waste, wood debris or hazard materials. Such items must be taken to the Central Peninsula Landfill.

“Think before You Throw!” Visit www.kpb.us/swd-waste

Hazardous materials will be accepted at the Central Peninsula Landfill on July 18th.

NOTE: Arrangements for brush and woody debris will be announced at a later date for impacted households

For the disposal of fire affected vehicles, individuals can contact Peninsula Scrap and Salvage at 262-7258 to discuss disposal of such items. The Borough is unable to provide this service.

Monday, July 13, 2015

7/13/15 12 p.m. Welcome News from Chugach National Forest

Welcome news from Chugach National Forest

 

Fire danger on the forest is moderate. The Stetson and Juneau Lake fires are 100 percent contained. All campgrounds, campsites and trails are open. All fire bans have been lifted. Time to enjoy the forest!

Unless conditions change, this is the final fire information update.

For up-to-date forest information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/chugach or call 907.743.9500.

For statewide wildfire and fire restriction information, visit http://akfireinfo.com/ or call 907.356.5511

 

 

Morgan Warthin
Acting Public Affairs Officer

Forest Service

Chugach National Forest

p: 907-743-9444
c: 907-306-1304
mwarthin@fs.fed.us

161 East 1st Ave., Door 8
Anchorage, AK 99501
www.fs.fed.us

Caring for the land and serving people

 

 

07/13/15 9:30 am Kenai Peninsula Burn Suspension Lifted

Soldotna, Alaska – The Burn Suspension activated earlier this month will be lifted as of 12:00 PM today.  This means that Permitted Burning is allowed once again.  This includes only approved burn barrels, and brush/debris piles no larger than 10’ across and 4’ high.  Fire officials want to remind all citizens that fireworks are not allowed and cannot be shot off on the Kenai Peninsula. 

Those planning on operating a burn barrel or burning a debris pile must call the burn permit hotline at:  907-260-4269  each day before they burn and leave their name, location of the burn, and a good contact phone number to be reached at.

Residents must follow the guidelines on the burn permits before burning. They are also reminded that the area around the burn barrel must be at least 30’ from structures and overhead power lines, cleared at least 10’ around down to mineral soil, must have a no larger than a 5/8-inch gapped metal mesh screen on top of it, and covering all ventilation holes. They also must have water and a shovel nearby and be attendance of the burn at all times until it is complete.

CONTACT:
Department of Natural Resources
Division of Forestry
Kenai-Kodiak Area Office
Soldotna, Alaska
Dan Govoni, Fire Prevention Officer, 907-260-4260
###
STAY CONNECTED:

DNR Public Information Center: http://dnr.alaska.gov/commis/pic/

07/10/15 9:00 am Card Street Fire Rests at 8,876 Acres - Closing Release

Soldotna, Alaska – The Type-3 Incident Management Team has met the objectives set forth by the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge managers and the Division of Forestry.  A Type-4 suppression organization will transition with the Type-3 team today and take command of the Card Street Fire. The repair work (rehab) of the dozer lines, patrol of the roads and subdivisions to ensure the fire would not rekindle in those areas has been completed. The entire perimeter of the Card Street Fire has been and will continue to be assessed to identify any heat along the fires edge.  The Type-4 Fire Team will continue to watch for hot spots with emphasis on the interior where unburned islands of black spruce trees may remotely pose a threat.  As with large Alaskan fires the possibility of smoke rising again is probable with a drying trend from Mother Nature.  The Card Street fire will be watched with the intention that any adverse flames or smoke sighted will be extinguished.

A Burn Suspension continues on the Kenai Peninsula.  A Burn “Suspension” is the prohibition of burning under the burn permit system. The Burn Permit call in number is 907-260-4269.  Citizens are reminded that burning debris piles or the use of burn barrels is prohibited.  A camp fire, signal, and warming fires no larger than 3x3 feet in size, charcoal and gas BBQ’s as well as fish smokers are permissible.  The “Open Fires Restriction” on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge lands has been lifted.  Please be sure to extinguish your fire.

The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and the Division of Forestry greatly appreciated the cooperation of the public during the Card Street incident and continuing Burn Suspension.

CONTACT:
Kenai National Wildlife Refuge
Soldotna, Alaska
907-262-7021

Andy Alexandrou - Public Information Officer
Division of forestry, Soldotna Alaska
907-260-4261/907-260-4200

STAY CONNECTED:

DNR Public Information Center: http://dnr.alaska.gov/commis/pic/

Thursday, July 9, 2015

07/09/15 5:00 pm July 11-25, 2015 - Dumpsters Provided to Sterling Residents Impacted by the Card Street Fire

Solid Waste Notification: Starting Saturday July 11th, 2015 two large dumpsters will be placed off of Trout Lane (near the intersection of Kenai Keys/Feuding Ln) for households impacted by the Card Street Fire. Solid waste collection is limited to fire-related, household debris only.

This service will only be available from July 11- 25, 2015.

No construction, bulky waste, wood debris or hazard materials. Such items must be taken to the Central Peninsula Landfill.

“Think before You Throw!” Visit www.kpb.us/swd-waste

Hazardous materials will be accepted at the Central Peninsula Landfill on July 18th.

Another solid waste collection site will be in place early next week on Alamo Street.

NOTE: Arrangements for brush and woody debris will be announced at a later date for impacted households


For the disposal of fire affected vehicles, individuals can contact Peninsula Scrap and Salvage at 262-7258 to discuss disposal of such items. The Borough is unable to provide this service.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

07/07/15 2:30 pm Open Fires Restriction Lifted on Kenai National Wildlife Refuge

Effective immediately, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is canceling the open fire restriction on all lands of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge due to recent weather which has reduced the ignition potential for wildfires.

The recent precipitation has dampened fire danger and wildfire activity has moderated on the Refuge but the fires currently burning are not out. The deeper layers of ground level fuels remain extremely dry, and it will take significant rain to extinguish fires.

Visitors are reminded to use caution with campfires and any ignition source that could spark a wildfire. You are responsible for the fires you start. Please follow these guidelines to extinguish your fire completely:
• Allow the wood to burn to ash if possible.
• Pour lots of water on the fire and drown all embers.
• Stir the wet ashes and embers with a shovel.
• Scrape any remaining logs to remove embers.
• Make sure everything is cold to the touch.
• If you do not have water, use dirt or sand and mix in with embers.
• Do not bury the fire as it will continue to smolder and may start a wildfire.
• Never leave a fire of any kind unattended.

For additional information, please contact the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge office during regular business hours at (907) 262-7021.

07/07/15 8:50 am Card Street Fire Cools

Soldotna, Alaska  – As the Type-3 Incident Management Team assumed the responsibilities of the fire direction and priorities were identified.  Protection of life and property remains number 1.  A Division of Forestry Fire Engine is patrolling the roads and subdivisions for any hot spots or smokes and will extinguish all found.  Repair work continues where dozer fire lines were constructed to stop the spread of the fire.  Repair work is defined as putting back the natural vegetation that was removed by the dozer when the dozer fire line was constructed. In addition to the patrolling and repair of the fire the entire perimeter is being monitored with a special interest focused on the north side of the lake near the outlet of Skilak Lake for any outbreak of flames or smoke. There are 14 firefighters, an Engine and Helicopter working on this 8,876 acre fire.

The National Weather Service is forecasting cloudy and rainy conditions for the next few days.  Any additional moisture will aid the suppression effort and minimize single tree and group tree torching in the interior of the fire that usually occurs on large Alaskan fires.  The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge  has a burn restriction in place that all “Open Fires” are prohibited on Refuge Lands and the Kenai Peninsula Borough remains under a “Burn Suspension” order which prohibits burning debris piles and burn barrels but allows for campfires, warming, signal, charcoal fires and gas  BBQ grills and fish smokers.

CONTACT:  Andy Alexandrou - Public Information Officer
        Division of Forestry
        Kenai-Kodiak Area Office
        Soldotna, Alaska
        907-260-4261
        andy.alexandrou@alaska.gov

STAY CONNECTED:

DNR Public Information Center: http://dnr.alaska.gov/commis/pic/

Thursday, July 2, 2015

07/02/15 11:00 am Card Street Fire Update


FIRE STATUS
Acres Burned:  8,876                   Containment: 90%
Cause:  Human – Under Investigation
Structures Destroyed:  11
Closures:  Burn closures for all fires remain on U.S. Fishand Wildlife and National Park Service campgrounds.
U.S.F.S. campgrounds now allow camp fires in established fire rings or grates.

RESOURCES
Crews:   3
Engines: 1
Helicopters: 1
Total personnel: 80
Injuries: 19 (Sick, soft tissue, and heat related illness)
Incident Summary: The Card Street fire began June 15 in subdivision areas south of Sterling, and spread easterly into the marshlands and recreation areas along the north shore of Skilak Lake. The fireis established in a full suppression area of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, and all actions are being taken to keep the fire at the smallest possible acreage. The fire has burned 8,876 acres and is now 90% contained.

Current Situation: The wildfire is being managed by Alaska Division of Forestry at the Sterling Elementary School in Sterling, AK. Crews continue to mop up and rehabilitate fire lines around the perimeter. The crews assigned are Yukon, Western Nevada and Elk Creek. Fire personnel are being transported to hot spots via boats on the southern fire perimeter along the Kenai River and Skilak Lake. Isolated pockets of smoke will continue to be observed within the interior of the fire. Visitors to the area should be mindful that snags, falling trees and ash pits pose significant hazards within the burned area.

Burn Restrictions: With the recent cooler weather, some burning restrictions have been lifted for all state, private and municipal lands on the Kenai Peninsula. Campfires, charcoal BBQ’s, warming, and cooking fires are now allowed.   Burn permits for all open burning are still suspended.  This covers the burn permit system of the Division of Forestry where debris piles and burn barrels are of concern.  Permits holders may call the “burn permit call in number” at 907-260-4269 for updated information.  As the July 4th weekend approaches, please be mindful that the use of fireworks are prohibited on the Kenai Peninsula. More information can be found at www.kpboem.com or http://akfireinfo.com/. Burn closures for all fires remain on U.S. Fish and Wildlife and National Park Service campgrounds.
U.S.F.S. campgrounds now allow camp fires in established fire rings or grates.

Weather Outlook: Cloudy with occasional rain mainly in the morning. High temperature near 70F. Windswill be WSW 5 to 10 mph. The chance of rain 80%. Total precipitation expected .03 inches.

ClosuresSkilak Lake Road is now open for public travel. The Lower Skilak Campground, the boat launch and the Bottenintnin Lake day use area are now open. Motorists are encouraged to slow their vehicle speed and be cautious of fire personnel in the area.  Regular updates can be found on the Refuge page at facebook.com/kenainationalwildliferefuge and the Kenai Peninsula Borough Joint Information Center at www.kpboem.com. For additional information, please contact the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge office at (907) 262-7021.

Cooperating Agencies: Alaska Division of Forestry, Alaska State Troopers, Kenai Peninsula Borough, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

07/02/15 11:30 am Kenai National Wildlife Refuge - Reopening of the Lower Skilak Lake Boat Ramp and Campground

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces the reopening of the Lower Skilak boat ramp and campground and the Bottenintnin Lake day use area, effective immediately. These facilities have been closed since June 17 due to the Card Street Fire.

All of the Skilak Lake Road is now open for travel. Firefighting personnel and equipment are still working in the area and may be present along the road. Motorists are urged to exercise caution to ensure the safety of firefighters.

The fire remains active in some areas along the shoreline of Skilak Lake and the Kenai River. Visitors are reminded that smoke may be visible for some time, and snags, falling trees and ash pits pose significant hazards within the burned area.

The open fire burn ban remains in place for the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Although surrounding areas have seen improvement to drought conditions due to recent rains, precipitation has been spotty and fire danger remains high throughout much of the Refuge.

For additional information, please contact the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge office
during regular business hours at (907) 262-7021 or kenai@fws.gov

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

07/01/15 10:00 am Card Street Fire Update


FIRE STATUS
Acres Burned:  8,876
Cause:  Human – Under Investigation
Structures Destroyed:  11
Evacuations: None
Closures:  west end of Skilak Loop Road
Containment:  80%
RESOURCES
Crews:   4
Engines: 3
Dozers: 0
Water Tenders: 1
Helicopters: 1
Total personnel:  approx. 150
Injuries: 19 (Sick, soft tissue, and heat related illness)
Incident Summary: The Card Street fire is in the marshlands and recreation area of Skilak Lake. The fire is established in a full suppression area of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and all actions are being taken to keep the fire at the smallest possible acreage. The fire has burned 8,876 acres since it began June 15 and is now 80% contained.

Current Situation:  Crews continue mop up and rehabilitate firelines around the perimeter. Fire personnel are using hand held infrared devices to detect pockets of heat that can’t be detected by the eye; they will be marked and extinguished. Isolated pockets of heat will continue to be seen in the interior of the fire.  A total of 150 personnel are assigned to the incident including 4 fire crews, 3 fire engines and 1 helicopters. Resources are being released when no longer needed to assist with firefighting efforts elsewhere.  Washington Team 3 will be transitioning to the local agencies tomorrow.

Burn Restrictions: Burn Closure Lifted on the Kenai Peninsula. Soldotna, Alaska -  By order of the Director’s Office the State Forester has lifted the burn closure on all state, private and municipal land on the Kenai Peninsula. Campfires, charcoal BBQ’s, warming, and cooking fires may be used.   At this time all federal lands are still under the closure order.  Kenai Peninsula citizens and visitors must be aware that the “Burn Suspension” is still in effect.  This covers the burn permit system of the Division of Forestry where debris piles and burn barrels are of concern.  Permits holders are reminded to phone the “burn permit call in number” at 907-260-4269 for updated information.  As the Fourth of July weekend approaches all citizens are reminded that the use of fireworks is not permitted on the Kenai Peninsula.   The Division of Forestry and Cooperating Agencies appreciate your cooperation. 
More information can be found at www.kpboem.com or http://akfireinfo.com/.

Weather Outlook: Temperatures are expected to top out at 66 degrees, with cloudy skies and sun breaks. Winds will be variable at 3-8 mph.

Closures: Skilak Lake Road remains closed from the west entrance at the Sterling Highway to milepost 9.3 at the Engineer Lake Overlook.  Lower Skilak Campground and Boat Launch and Bottenintnin Lake day use area remain closed. The road is open on the east end, to the upper Skilak Lake boat launch. Motorists are encouraged to please be cautious of changing fire conditions and fire personnel in the area.  Regular updates can be found on the Refuge Facebook page at www.facebook.com/kenainationalwildliferefuge and the Kenai Peninsula Borough Virtual Joint Information Center at www.kpboem.com. For additional information, please contact the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge office during regular business hours at (907) 262-7021.

Injuries: There have been 19 injuries; Sick, soft tissue, heat related illnesses.

Cooperating Agencies: Alaska Division of Forestry, Alaska State Troopers, Kenai Peninsula Borough, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

07/01/15 2:15 pm The open fire burn ban remains in place for the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge

The open fire burn ban remains in place for the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Although surrounding areas have seen improvement to the drought conditions due to recent rains, Refuge lands have not.

This image is a map overlay of fire danger adjectives for today (7/1/15) created by Predictive Services that shows the dryness of surface fuels like trees and plants. The yellow and red areas are very dry. Wildfires in other parts of Alaska have also reduced the number of fire crews available to help should another fire start on the Kenai Peninsula.

The other image is a table from the Skilak Guard Station Weather Station showing all fire danger indices for the past 7 days. This shows extreme for the Duff Moisture Code (DMC), and also the Drought Code (DC). DMC predicts how hard it would be to control a new fire. Here's the scale: green = low (easy to manage fires), blue = moderate, yellow = high, orange = very high, red = extreme (extremely hard to control fires). The drought code is an indicator of how hard it would be to extinguish the fire, meaning it would burn deep into the duff and put up smoke for a very long time.

Please help keep the Kenai safe...leave the firewood at home this holiday weekend.

For more information, contact the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge at 907-262-7021.

07/1/15 11:15 am Chugach National Forest Urges Caution with Fire Over July 4 Weekend


Chugach National Forest Urges Caution with Fire over July 4 Weekend
Fire Restrictions Enforced, Stetson Creek & Juneau Lake Fires Contained

Anchorage, Alaska: Chugach National Forest wildland fire managers urge recreationists to be extra cautious with any open flame over the July 4 weekend. Just a spark can ignite a wildfire. Everyone has a hand in a safe summer season.

Cooler weather has enabled fire managers to reduce fire restrictions on the forest. Effective Tuesday, June 30, campfires, stove or charcoal fires are only allowed in forest campgrounds and designated picnic areas on the Seward and Glacier Districts. Campfires are not allowed at dispersed campsites.

Remember: You are responsible for the fires you start. Follow these guidelines to extinguish your fire completely:
  • Allow the wood to burn to ash if possible.
  • Pour lots of water on the fire and drown all embers.
  • Stir the wet ashes and embers with a shovel.
  • Scrape any remaining logs to remove embers.
  • Make sure everything is cold to touch.
  • If you do not have water, use dirt or sand by mixing in with embers.
  • Do not bury the fire as it will continue to smolder and may start a wildfire.
Fireworks are illegal in Chugach National Forest. Citations will be issued for using fireworks. Violations of these prohibitions are punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than six months or both.

Due to the hard work from firefighters and cooler weather, two wildfires near Cooper Landing are currently quiet. The 129-acre Stetson Creek fire was 100 percent contained June 30. The fire is located 1.5 miles south of the Sterling Highway at mile post 50 between the Russian River and Cooper Creek. The Juneau Lake fire is located five miles north of Cooper Landing near the Resurrection Pass Trail. At 580 acres, it is 80 percent contained and forest firefighters are monitoring it. They observed one smoke inside the fire’s perimeter June 30 and did not see any open flame. They do not anticipate growth on either fire but occasional smoke inside the perimeters may occur over the next several days.

Given the significantly decreased wildfire activity, the following forest areas are open:
  • Cooper Creek North and South Campground
  • Resurrection Pass Trail and Bean Creek Trail
  • Romig, Trout Lake and Swan cabins along the Resurrection Pass Trail
The following closures remain in effect:
For up-to-date forest wildfire information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/chugach or call 907.743.9500.

For statewide wildfire and fire restriction information, visit http://akfireinfo.com/ or call 907.356.5511.

Media Contact:  Morgan Warthin, Acting Public Affairs Officer, 907.743.9444, mwarthin@fs.fed.us 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

06/30/15 2:25 pm State to Open Disaster Assistance Centers for Kenai Wildfires

State to Open Disaster Assistance Centers for Kenai Wildfires
Centers in the Kenai Peninsula Borough to provide information, take applications

JBER, Alaska — The Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHS&EM) will open a Disaster Assistance Center (DAC) for the state Individual Assistance (IA) Program for the Kenai wildfires July 7-8.

The DAC will take applications for state IA programs and provide information from other state and non-profit assistance agencies.

"I encourage those impacted by the Kenai wildfires to apply for individual assistance as soon as possible. Take photos of damage before you clean up and keep your receipts. The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management staff will be available at the DAC to answer any questions," Mike O'Hare, director of DHS&EM said.   

The center will be located at:
Sterling Elementary School

Applicants may also apply by phone or online:
Online at ready.alaska.gov

Applicants will need to provide the following when applying for individual assistance:
  • Description of damages and/or losses
  • Home ownership documentation
  • Insurance information
  • Personal identification
  • Proof of occupancy (utility bill)

Applicants who wish to apply for state assistance telephonically can call the IA hotline at 1-855-445-7131. The deadline to apply for IA for those impacted by the Kenai wildfires is August 18.

06/30/15 1:00 pm The use of fireworks and the sale of fireworks is prohibited in the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

Know your local jurisdiction's restrictions on the use of fireworks! All citizens are reminded that the use of fireworks is not permitted on the Kenai Peninsula. The cities of Homer, Kachemak City, Kenai, Seldovia, Seward and Soldotna may enact their own prohibitions.

What does this mean? It means that outside of city boundaries, only specific groups may be authorized to use fireworks for public displays as long as that group has a current permit issued by the borough mayor.


To know more, visit KPB Code 10.18 “Fireworks Control” at https://library.municode.com/HTML/13259/level2/TIT10HESA_CH10.18FICO.html

06/30/15 12:15 pm Burn Closure Lifted on the Kenai Peninsula

Soldotna, Alaska - By order of the Director’s Office the State Forester has lifted the burn closure on all state, private and municipal land on the Kenai Peninsula. Campfires, charcoal BBQ’s, warming, and cooking fires may be used.   At this time all federal lands are still under the closure order. Kenai Peninsula citizens and visitors must be aware that the “Burn Suspension” is still in effect.  This covers the burn permit system of the Division of Forestry where debris piles and burn barrels are of concern.  Permits holders are reminded to phone the “burn permit call in number” at 907-260-4269 for updated information.  As the Fourth of July weekend approaches all citizens are reminded that the use of fireworks is not permitted on the Kenai Peninsula.  The Division of Forestry and Cooperating Agencies appreciate your cooperation.  Thank you and enjoy your Independence Holiday weekend.  

CONTACT:
Department of Natural Resources
Division of Forestry
Kenai-Kodiak Area Office
Soldotna, Alaska

Dan Govoni
Fire Prevention Officer, 907-260-4260
dan.govoni@alaska.gov

Andy Alexandrou
Public Information Officer, 907-260-4261
andy.alexandrou@alaska.gov

STAY CONNECTED:
DNR Public Information Center: http://dnr.alaska.gov/commis/pic/

06/30/15 12:00 pm AK DNR Burn closure lifted in most areas but still in effect in Southwest Alaska, Anchorage

NOTE: The burn closure is still in effect in Southwest Alaska and the Municipality of Anchorage. That includes Game Management Units 9, 17, 18, 19 and 21.

(Fairbanks, AK) – Due to recent rainfall and increased relative humidity that has reduced wildfire danger, the Alaska Division of Forestry is canceling a burn closure for most parts of the state effective at noon today.

The closure, which has been in effect for nearly two weeks, is being lifted on state, private and municipal lands in the Kenai, Matanuska-Susitna and Denali boroughs, the Tanana Valley north of the Alaska Range and the Copper River Valley. The closure will remain in effect in Southwest Alaska and the Municipality of Anchorage until further notice.

The areas that remain closed include Game Management Units 9, 17, 18, 19 and 21, which cover most of the area south and west of McGrath, as well as communities on the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers west of Tanana. To see a map of Alaska’s game management units go here.

While campfires and approved burn barrels will now be permitted, a burn suspension prohibiting open debris burning does remain in place in some areas the closure has been rescinded. Check with your local Division of Forestry office for burn suspensions.

The recent precipitation has dampened fire danger and wildfire activity has moderated in many areas but the fires currently burning around the state are not out. Conditions remain extremely dry in the deeper vegetative layers and it will take significant rain to extinguish fires. With that in mind, it is imperative that caution be used with regard to anything that could result in a wildfire this holiday weekend.

Here are some guidelines to keep in mind as you head outdoors this weekend and for the rest of the summer:

  • Know where you will be recreating and what the rules are before you head out. There are still burn restrictions in effect on many federal lands.
  • If you do choose to have a campfire, keep it small and make sure it is in a spot where the fire cannot spread. If possible, use a gas camp stove rather than an open fire for cooking.
  • Never leave a fire of any kind unattended.
  • To properly extinguish a campfire, pour large amounts of water or soil on the fire and stir it with a stick or shovel until the entire fire area is cool to the touch.
  • Dispose of charcoal ashes in a metal, fireproof container; never dump them in the woods or in a burnable container.
  • Obtain a burn permit for any open debris burning and be sure to call the local forestry office or check online (forestry.alaska.gov/burn/) to ensure burning is allowed the day you plan to burn.
  • The use of fireworks is prohibited in many municipalities and boroughs. Be sure to check local regulations regarding the use of fireworks in your area.
  • Remember, you are responsible for any fire you may start and individuals may be held accountable for suppression costs involved with responses to human-caused fires.

Firefighters in Alaska already have their hands full with the high number of fires currently burning in the state and do not need new fires to contend with, especially when resources are spread as thin as they are right now.

Forecasters are predicting warmer, drier temperatures to return starting this weekend, which could result in the burn closure being put in place again in the future. We are not out of the woods yet when it comes to wildfire danger so don’t let your guard down. Please do your part to make this a safe holiday weekend.

CONTACT: Tim Mowry, Division of Forestry, 907-356-5512, tim.mowry@alaska.gov.
###
STAY CONNECTED:
DNR Newsroom: http://dnr.alaska.gov/commis/dnr_newsroom.htm
DNR on Social Media: http://dnr.alaska.gov/commis/social_media.htm
DNR Public Information Center: http://dnr.alaska.gov/commis/pic/

Sunday, June 28, 2015

06/28/15 9:00 am Stetson Creek, Juneau Lake fires management resumed by Chugach National Forest


Cooper Landing – Two wildfires that started June 16, 2015 within 45 minutes of each other, and have been managed by the Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team 4 since June 19, are back under management of the Chugach National Forest.


The Stetson Creek Fire is 90% contained and activity as of June 27 included creeping fire and smoldering.  Minimal fire spread projected in the next 24 hours due to weather and suppression tactics.  A total of 34 personnel remain assigned, including the Bitteroot Type 2 IA and Chugach crews.  The lightening-caused fire burned 212 acres. It started at 6:23 p.m.


The Juneau Lake Fire is 80% contained.  It also was observed to be creeping and smoldering; minimal fire growth is projected for the next 24 hours and is being monitored and patrolled.  Also lightening-caused, the fire burned 580 acres.


For previous information about the fires, go to http://inciweb.nwcg.gov, www.akfireinfo.com, kpboem.blogspot.com.  For pictures of the fires, go to Flickr and search Stetson Creek Fire 2015.



6/28/15 9:00 am Card Street Fire Update

FIRE STATUS
Acres Burned:  8,876
Cause:  Human – Under Investigation
Structures Destroyed:  11
Evacuations: None
Closures:  west end of Skilak Loop Road
Containment:  60%
RESOURCES
Crews:   9
Engines: 3
Dozers: 0
Water Tenders: 1
Helicopters: 1
Total personnel:  approx. 256
Injuries: 3 (small cut, heat related illness)

Incident Summary: The Card Street fire is in the marshlands and recreation area of Skilak Lake. The fire is established in a full suppression area of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and all actions are being taken to keep the fire at the smallest possible acreage. The fire has burned 8,876 acres since it began June 15 and is now 60% contained.

Current Situation:  Crews continue mop up and rehabilitate firelines around the perimeter. Fire personnel are using hand held infrared devices to detect pockets of heat that can't be detected by the eye; they will marked and extinguished. Isolated pockets of heat will continue to be seen in the interior of the fire.  A total of 256 personnel are assigned to the incident including 12 fire crews, 4 fire engines and 1 helicopters. Resources are being released when no longer needed to assist with firefighting efforts elsewhere.

Burn Restrictions: The Alaska Division of Forestry prohibits the use of all open fires and activities which unduly increase the fire danger.

Until further notice all cooking, warming, signaling fires or any type of fire are prohibited on state lands, including state park units, and private and municipal lands within Game Management Units 7, 13, 14, 15 and 16. The term "open fires" refers to any flame source not immediately extinguishable or controllable and applies to any form of wood or charcoal-based fire, even in established fire rings.  Gas grills, backpacking or camp stoves using fuel or compressed canisters which can be regulated and shut off are still permitted for use.  Fireworks are prohibited in the Kenai Borough. More information can be found at www.kpboem.com or http://akfireinfo.com/.

Weather Outlook: Temperatures are expected to top out at 67 degrees, with cloudy skies and periods of light rain. Winds will be east at 6-9 mph.

Closures: Skilak Lake Road remains closed from the west entrance at the Sterling Highway to milepost 9.3 at the Engineer Lake Overlook.  Lower Skilak Campground and Boat Launch and Bottenintnin Lake day use area remain closed. The road is open on the east end, to the upper Skilak Lake boat launch. Motorists are encouraged to please be cautious of changing fire conditions and fire personnel in the area.  Regular updates can be found on the Refuge Facebook page at www.facebook.com/kenainationalwildliferefuge and the Kenai Peninsula Borough Virtual Joint Information Center at www.kpboem.com. For additional information, please contact the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge office during regular business hours at (907) 262-7021.

Injuries: There have been three minor injuries; a small cut finger and heat related illnesses.

Cooperating Agencies: Alaska Division of Forestry, Alaska State Troopers, Kenai Peninsula Borough, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

06/27/15 9:00 pm Stetson Creek and Juneau Lake fires: Final Update


Stetson Creek Fire
Acres:  212   Containment:  90%

Today's objectives:  All crews are on the fire today for mop-up, rehabilitation of the line and removing surplus equipment. Minimal fire spread is projected for the next 24-hour period due to weather and implementation of suppression tactics.  On Sunday, June 28, the Chugach National Forest will assume management of the fire.

Juneau Lake Fire
Acres:  580   Containment: 80%

Today's objectives:  The fire will be monitored from the air if weather conditions allow for a fly-over. Minimal fire growth is expected in the next 24 hours.  Management of the fire will be turned over to the Chugach National Forest on Sunday.

Resources:  114 personnel are on the Stetson Creek Fire today.  Assigned to the two fires are two 20-person crews, an 18-person module, 3 helicopter support, 18 team and 15 miscellaneous and overhead staff, and one type 3 helicopter.

On Sunday, June 28, 38 personnel will remain on the fires, including the Bitteroot Type 2IA and Chugach.  Crews will be under command of the Forest which will resume management of the fire.

Injuries:  One firefighter sustained minor injuries due to an encounter with a bear. 

Weather:   Saturday, June 27—A cooling trend is moving into the area which will result in lower temperatures and higher humidity for the next 48 hours.


Closures:   Burning closures are in effect for all of the Kenai Peninsula.  No open burning or campfires are allowed.

Campground/Cabin Status:   Cooper Creek South campground reopened Friday, June 26. Today, Saturday, June 27, three of four Juneau Lake recreational use cabins reopen: Romig, Trout Lake and Swan.  The Juneau Lake cabin remains closed for monitoring needs until adequate rain falls in the area.


06/27/15 12:45 pm Card Street Fire Update


FIRE STATUS
Acres Burned:  8,876
Cause:  Human – Under Investigation
Structures Destroyed:  11
Evacuations: None
Closures:  west end of Skilak Loop Road
Containment:  50%
RESOURCES
Crews:   12
Engines: 4
Dozers: 0
Water Tenders: 2
Helicopters: 1
Total personnel:  approx. 331
Injuries: 3 (small cut, heat related illness)

Incident Summary: The Card Street fire is in the marshlands and recreation area of Skilak Lake. The fire is established in a full suppression area of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and all actions are being taken to keep the fire at the smallest possible acreage. The fire has burned 8,876 acres since it began June 15 and is now 50% contained.

Current Situation:  Crews continue to strengthen and mop up firelines around the perimeter. Fire personnel will use hand held infrared devices to detect pockets of heat that can't be detected by the eye; they will marked and extinguished. Isolated pockets of heat will continue to be seen in the interior of the fire.  A total of 331 personnel are assigned to the incident including 12 fire crews, 4 fire engines and 1 helicopters.

Burn Restrictions: The Alaska Division of Forestry prohibits the use of all open fires and activities which unduly increase the fire danger.

Until further notice all cooking, warming, signaling fires or any type of fire are prohibited on state lands, including state park units, and private and municipal lands within Game Management Units 7, 13, 14, 15 and 16. The term "open fires" refers to any flame source not immediately extinguishable or controllable and applies to any form of wood or charcoal-based fire, even in established fire rings.  Gas grills, backpacking or camp stoves using fuel or compressed canisters which can be regulated and shut off are still permitted for use.  Fireworks are prohibited in the Kenai Borough. More information can be found at www.kpboem.com or http://akfireinfo.com/.

Weather Outlook: Temperatures are expected to top out at 65 degrees, with cloudy skies and occasional light rain. Winds will be east at 6-8 mph with gusts to 14 mph in the afternoon.

Closures: The US Fish and Wildlife Service has reopened many campgrounds and trails in the area.   Skilak Lake Road remains closed from the west entrance at the Sterling Highway to milepost 9.3 at the Engineer Lake Overlook.  Lower Skilak Campground and Boat Launch and Bottenintnin Lake day use area remain closed. The road is open on the east end, to the upper Skilak Lake boat launch. Motorists are encouraged to please be cautious of changing fire conditions and fire personnel in the area.  Regular updates can be found on the Refuge Facebook page at www.facebook.com/kenainationalwildliferefuge and the Kenai Peninsula Borough Virtual Joint Information Center at www.kpboem.com. For additional information, please contact the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge office during regular business hours at (907) 262-7021.

Injuries: There have been three minor injuries; a small cut finger and heat related illnesses.

Cooperating Agencies: Alaska Division of Forestry, Alaska State Troopers, Kenai Peninsula Borough, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.