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..

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.

06/27/15 9:00 am Stetson Creek and Juneau Lake fires Morning Update

Stetson Creek Fire
Acres: 212 Containment: 80%

Today's objectives: All crews are on the fire today for mop-up,
rehabilitation of the line and removing surplus equipment. 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 during the next 24 hours. Management of the fire will be
turned over to the Chugach National Forest on Sunday. InciWeb
http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4307/#

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.

Injuries: One firefighter sustained minor injuries due to an
encounter with a bear. He received treatment for animal bites.

Weather: Saturday, June 27-- Cloudier and more moist conditions will
remain through Sunday afternoon. Rain will become less persistent
Saturday evening and Sunday morning. High of 58F today, Rh 72%, east
winds 4-7mph increasing to 6-11mph in the afternoon.

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.

Friday, June 26, 2015

06/26/15 9:00 pm Stetson Creek Juneau Lake fires: Evening Update

Stetson Creek Fire
Acres: 212
Containment: 80%

Today's objectives: Crews are mopping up, inventorying hose and
working with the Chugach National Forest to determine what will remain
on site after management of the fire is turned back to the Forest on
Sunday. InciWeb http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4306/#

Juneau Lake Fire
Acres: 580
Containment: 80%

Today's objectives: Crews, equipment and gear were removed from the
fire. Management of the fire will be turned over to the Chugach
National Forest on Sunday. InciWeb
http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4307/#

Resources 114 personnel are on the fires 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.

Injuries One firefighter sustained minor injuries due to an encounter
with a bear. He received treatment for animal bites.

Weather Friday, June 26: This evening, cloudy skies dominate and
rain is likely with lows around 47F, Rh of 90%, and southeast winds
8-11 mph and gusts to 17mph.

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
today. Tomorrow, 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.

06/26/15 2:15 pm Kenai Peninsula Burn Closure still in Effect

The Burn Closure activated earlier this month is still in effect.  This means that there is No Open Burning allowed. This includes campfires, warming fires, signal fires, burn barrels and charcoal fires. A gas or electric BBQ grill or fish smoker is permissible.   Also, fire officials want to remind all citizens that fireworks are not allowed to be shot off on the Kenai Peninsula.  Fire suppression agency personnel continue to respond to campfires, debris burns and burn barrel fires that are under this closure order.  To clarify the difference between Closure and Suspension; A "Burn Closure" is the prohibition of all open burning including campfires. A "Burn Suspension" is the prohibition of burning under the burn permit system which allows for campfires but not for burn barrels and debris piles.  The Burn Closure is regulated via the Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources and a Burn Suspension is regulated by the local Area Office of the Division of Forestry.  

 

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 

OR

Andy Alexandrou

Public Information Officer, 907-260-4261

andy.alexandrou@alaska.gov

###

6/26/15 10:45 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:  40%
RESOURCES
Crews:   12
Engines: 5
Dozers: 1
Water Tenders: 2
Helicopters: 2
Total personnel:  approx. 357
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 40% contained.

Current Situation:  Isolated pockets of heat will continue to be seen in the interior of the fire. Residents are urged to only call 911 if it is an imminent threat to life or property or the fire is growing in intensity.  Heat found within 400 feet of any structure will be extinguished. 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. Crews continue to construct and strengthen firelines around the entire perimeter. A total of 357 personnel are assigned to the incident including 12 fire crews, 5 fire engines and 2 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 62 degrees, with cloudy skies and scattered showers. Winds will be northeasterly at 3-5 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.


06/26/15 10:20 am Firefighter doing well after bear encounter due to training and emergency response

Cooper Landing – On June 22, 2015 Chugach National Forest, Glacier District Ranger Tim Charnon had an encounter with a sub-adult brown bear.  He is doing well because of bear awareness training and emergency response protocols.

The Chugach NF provides extensive training for employees on how to react to bears.  Response depends on the situation such as whether the bear is predatory or whether it has been startled, thus provoking a territorial reaction.

Charnon startled the bear while scouting the fire in a remote area near Juneau Lake.  When he first observed the bear, it was charging and there was not enough time to deploy his bear spray.  The bear swiped at Charnon knocking off his helmet.  Falling back on his training, Charnon grabbed his helmet, covered his head and dropped to the ground.  The bear swiped and bit him and ran off.  Charnon remained in place and radioed for help.

The call triggered implementation of the Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team 4 (ORIIMT4) "incident within an incident" protocol which provides rapid, coordinated pre-planned response to emergency situations. It includes a nine-step medical emergency plan.  ORIIMT4 is the team managing the Stetson Creek and Juneau Lake fires.

Response came from several sources:  the ORIIMT4, Forest Service law enforcement and the fire crew at Juneau Lake.  The Type 3 helicopter assigned to the fire was launched to transport a paramedic and forest service law enforcement officer to Juneau Lake.  The local Cooper Landing Ambulance and a Life Med helicopter responded and the National Guard hoist helicopter was activated, but later cancelled.

Charnon's call alerted crew members from Montana's Lolo Type 2 IA Crew. They worked through steep, rugged terrain to reach Charnon and help him walk about a mile to a rendezvous site.  Assessment of the victim at that site led to the decision to use the most direct transport via Life Med.


​Juneau Lake Fire:  Firefighters work in brush and rugged, steep terrain similar to that where Tim Charnon encountered a sub-adult brown bear.  Photo by Kevin Laves.

Bear encounter mitigation includes training on how to respond to bear encounters, carrying bear spray, keeping food away from camp areas and providing bear protection agents (shooters) when needed.

Firefighting is an inherently dangerous activity.  Agencies continually work to mitigate dangers through training firefighters for encounters with hazards, and providing emergency response leadership and support.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

6/25/15 9:00 pm Stetson Creek and Juneau Lake fires Evening Update

Stetson Creek Fire

Acres: 212 Containment: 70%

Today's objectives: Crews are rehabbing line, mopping up and
preparing to back haul equipment.

Juneau Lake Fire Acres: 580 Containment: 55%

Today's objectives: The crew focused on the northwest and southeast
corners of the fire. The active fire in the southeast corner has
nearly reached the snow bank where it will burn itself out. The crew,
gear and equipment will be airlifted out. InciWeb
http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4307/#

Resources 114 personnel 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.

Injuries One firefighter sustained minor injuries due to an encounter
with a bear. He received treatment for animal bites.

Weather Thursday, June 25: Most cloudy with a high of 65F and Rh52%.
Southerly winds of 2-4 mph are expected in the morning while afternoon
winds from the southeast will pick up to 6-12 mph.

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

Campground/Cabin Status: Stetson Creek Fire- Cooper Creek South
campground opens tomorrow, June 26. Juneau Lake Fire – Beginning
tomorrow, June 26, Romig, Trout Lake and Swan recreational use cabins
reopen. The Juneau Lake cabin remains closed.

6/25/15 4:30pm Community Emergency Response Team Training in Soldotna

The Kenai Peninsula Borough, Office of Emergency Management is pleased to announce that the next Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) team training will be held beginning Monday July 13, through July 25 in Soldotna.  This 30 hour course  is designed to prepare residents that do not have prior emergency response background on basic skills to keep themselves, their families, and their neighbors prepared for, and safe during, an emergency such as fire, flood, earthquake, or other incident.

The course covers skills such as fire and utility control, disaster medical skills, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster preparedness.  Participants should expect a hands on course learning and practicing practical skills.  Sessions are taught be emergency management professionals and other first responders, and will provide a comprehensive overview of these skills.  CERT training is based on FEMA curriculum and is adapted for unique conditions found on the Kenai Peninsula.

At the conclusion of the training, participants have the opportunity to join their local CERT team to be called upon to assist first responders during emergency or disaster conditions.  CERT members have been used in the past to provide public information, staff telephone lines, perform evacuations, and many other functions.

Participants 13 and over are welcome in the class with parental consent.  All materials will be provided, and there is no cost or obligation for the class.  Classes will be held at the Emergency Response Center, 253 Wilson Ln., behind the Soldotna Police Department.  Class size is limited to 25 participants.  Please see the detailed schedule below.  To register for the class, visit our website at www.kpb.us/emergency   For additional questions contact Dan Nelson at (907) 262-2098.


Course Schedule:
Monday July 13 6p - 9p: Welcome, Administration, Disaster Preparedness
Thursday July 14 6p - 9p: Fire/Utility Control
Friday July 17 6p - 9p:  Disaster Medical Part 1
Saturday July 18 9a - 5p: Disaster Medical Part 2, Light Search & Rescue
Monday July 20 6p - 9p: Team Organization
Thursday July 21 6p - 9p: Disaster Psychology
Friday July 24 6p - 9p: Terrorism Awareness/Exercises
Saturday July 25 9a - 1p: Disaster Simulation

6/25/15 2:30 pm Card Street Fire - Partial Lift of Skilak Recreation Closures

CONTACT:  Kenai National Wildlife Refuge
TELEPHONE:  (907) 262-7021 
E-Mail:  kenai@fws.gov

SUBJECT:  Reopening of the Eastern portion of Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area
Effective at noon today, Thursday June 25, 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reopening the following campgrounds within the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area:

·       Hidden Lake Campground
·       Upper Skilak Campground
·       Engineer Lake Campground
·       Lower Ohmer Campground
·       Jean Lake Campground
·       Kelly Lake Campground
·       Peterson Lake Campground
·       Watson Lake Campground

All hiking trails in the eastern portion of the Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area are also now open. These include Kenai River Trail, Hideout Trail, Hidden Creek Trail, Bear Mountain Trail, Vista Trail and Seven Lakes Trail.

Kelly Lake, Upper Ohmer, Engineer Lake and Doroshin Bay cabins will be open and available to the public beginning on Saturday, June 27.  Reservations are required for these cabins and can be made at www.recreation.gov

Skilak Lake Road is open from its East entrance at the Sterling Highway near Jim's Landing to the barricades at Milepost 9.4 just west of Engineer Lake. 

Due to the ongoing presence of fire personnel and equipment conducting suppression and mop-up activities on the Card Street Fire, Skilak Lake Road remains closed from its West entrance at the Sterling Highway to Milepost 9.4 just west of Engineer Lake.  Lower Skilak Campground and Boat Launch and Bottenintnin Lake day use area remain closed.  

Fire danger on the Kenai Peninsula remains high. All open camp, cooking and warming fires and use of charcoal and/or charcoal grills are prohibited on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.  Cooking stoves and gas grills may be used.

Refuge visitors are advised to closely monitor media sources for updates on fire activity in the area. Isolated pockets of heat and smoke may remain visible in the area.  Visitors are urged to only call 9-1-1 if there is an imminent threat to life or property.  

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.

6/25/15 9:00 am Stetson Creek and Juneau Lake fires

Stetson Creek Fire
Acres: 212 Containment: 65%

Today's objectives: As for the past several days, mop-up operations
continue and rehab of existing containment will be done as needed.
Crews will also contain and secure pockets and islands of unburned
fuels in the northern portion of the fire. InciWeb
http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4306/#

Juneau Lake Fire
Acres: 573 Containment: 45%

Today's objectives: Crews will mop-up the fire's edge from the
northwest to the southwest. Rehab of the existing line is planned to
secure the fire's edge.

Resources :111 personnel today. Assigned to the two fires are three
20-person crews, a 14-person module, 3 helicopter support, 15 team and
24 miscellaneous and overhead staff, and one Type 3 helicopter.

Injuries: One firefighter sustained minor injuries due to an
encounter with a bear. He received treatment for animal bites.

Weather: Thursday, June 25: Most cloudy with a high of 65F and Rh52%.
Southerly winds of 2-4 mph are expected in the morning while afternoon
winds from the southeast will pick up to 6-12 mph.

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

Campground/Cabin Status: Stetson Creek Fire- Cooper Creek South
campground opens June 27. Juneau Lake Fire – Beginning June 27,
Romig, Trout Lake and Swan recreational use cabins reopen. The Juneau
Lake cabin remains closed.

6/25/15 09:30 am Card Street Fire Update


FIRE STATUS
Acres Burned:  8,819
Cause:  Human – Under Investigation
Structures Destroyed:  11
Evacuations: None
Closures:  west end of Skilak Loop Road and campgrounds
Containment:  30%
RESOURCES
Crews:   12
Engines: 8
Dozers: 1
Water Tenders: 2
Helicopters: 2
Total personnel:  approx. 425
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 8,819 acres since it began June 15 and is now 30% contained. The increased acreage is a result of yesterdays controlled burn along the southeast perimeter.

Current Situation:  A burnout operation occurred yesterday afternoon on the southeast corner of the fire in the Skilak Lake boat ramp area.  Fire personnel used aerial ignition to burn approximately 2,000 acres of unburned spruce and improved the fireline significantly.

Isolated pockets of heat will continue to be seen in the interior of the fire. Residents are urged to only call 911 if it is an imminent threat to life or property or the fire is growing in intensity.  Heat found within 400 feet of any structure will be extinguished. 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. Crews continue to construct and strengthen firelines around the entire perimeter. A total of 425 personnel are assigned to the incident including 12 fire crews, 8 fire engines and 2 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 71 degrees, with mostly cloudy skies and east winds at 5-7 mph in the afternoon.

Closures: The US Fish and Wildlife Service has closed Skilak Loop Road at the west entrance at the Sterling Highway to milepost 9.3 at the Engineer Lake Overlook.  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.  All campgrounds, public use cabins, and trails within the Skilak Wildlife recreational area remain closed to aid fire operations until further notice.  Tickets will be issued to those violating the closures.

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.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

6/24/15 1:45 pm Cooper Landing FIres: Return of sunny weather works to firefighters' advantage on Stetson Creek and Juneau Lake fires

Cooper Landing – Firefighters on the two fires in the Chugach National
Forest today are taking advantage of a sunny day to detect and treat
areas of heat and smoldering ground previously masked by damp and
moist conditions.

The Stetson Creek fire is up to approximately 60 percent contained,
with crews concentrating on building line on the south/southeast
section of the fire along with mop-up which is likely to take several
days. The Bitteroot and Beaverhead/Deer Lodge crews from Montana and
a local squad from the Chugach National Forest are continuing on the
Stetson Creek Fire to protect high values along the Sterling Highway.

Containment also progressed on the Juneau Lake fire, which now stands
at 40% contained, following helicopter transport of a 20-person crew.
The Lolo Type 2IA crew was flown to Juneau Lake June 22 and is working
to protect cabins along the lake and secure the fire's edge along the
west and south. Mop-up on this fire will also take several days. One
firefighter sustained minor injuries following a bear encounter. He
received treatment for animal bites.

Today's resources include 111 personnel and one helicopter.

Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team 4 (ORIIMT4), Brian Goff,
incident commander, is managing the Stetson Creek and Juneau Lake
fires.

Burning closures are in effect for the entire Kenai Peninsula
including Chugach National Forest. All open fires, including campfires
and charcoal fires, are prohibited. While most of Alaska's fire
starts over the last two days have been caused by lightning, about
one-quarter are human-caused. Please follow burn closures.

6/24/15 1:00 pm Card Street Fire Update

FIRE STATUS
Acres Burned:  7,352
Cause:  Human – Under Investigation
Structures Destroyed:  11
Evacuations: None
Closures:  west end of Skilak Loop Road and campgrounds
Containment:  25%
RESOURCES
Crews:   16
Engines: 8
Dozers: 1
Water Tenders: 4
Helicopters: 3
Total personnel:  approx. 427
Injuries: 2 (small cut, heat related illness)

Incident Summary: The Card Street fire continues to burn into 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 7,352 acres since it began June 15 and is now 25% contained.

Current Situation:  Weather permitting, a sizable burnout operation will occur on the southeast corner of the fire in the Skilak Lake boat ramp area.  Fire personnel will use aerial ignition from a helicopter to light approximately 2,000 acres of unburned spruce that have a potential to ignite and compromise the fireline.  Smoke will be visible in the area.

Smoke and isolated pockets of heat will continue to be seen in the interior of the fire. Residents are urged to only call 911 there is an imminent threat to life or property or the fire is growing in intensity.  Heat found within 300 feet of any structure will be extinguished to ensure that it won't be able to reignite. Crews continue to construct and strengthen firelines around the entire perimeter. A total of 451 personnel are assigned to the incident including 16 fire crews, 8 fire engines and 3 helicopters.

Burn Restrictions: The Alaska Division of Forestry and the State Forester determined that it is necessary to prohibit 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 75 degrees, with mostly sunny skies and light southwesterly winds in the afternoon.

Closures: The US Fish and Wildlife Service clarifies that the Skilak Loop Road remains closed at the west entrance at the Sterling Highway to milepost 9.3 at the Engineer Lake Overlook.  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.  All campgrounds, public use cabins, and trails within the Skilak Wildlife recreational area remain closed to aid fire operations until further notice.  Tickets will be issued to those violating the closures.

Injuries: There have been two minor injuries; a cut finger required three stitches and a firefighter was treated and released from a local hospital for heat related illness.

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