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.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

08/18/19 Sterling Neighborhoods Asked to Be Level 1 "READY"

Sterling neighborhoods EAST of Feuding Lane and EAST of Adkins Road have been placed in a Level 1 "READY" status tonight Sunday 08/18/19 due to increased fire activity within the NW side of the Swan Lake fire near Watson Lake.
The Swan Lake Fire Incident Management Team, Agency Administrators and the Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management (OEM) personnel have implemented the "Ready Set Go!" plan for Cooper Landing and Sterling communities as a precaution. Both communities are at a Level 1 "READY" stage of preparedness.
Level 1 "READY" status - How can you do your part? Residents should be aware of the danger that exists in their area, monitor emergency services websites and local media outlets for information. This is the time for preparation and precautionary movement of persons with mobility concerns, pets and livestock. If conditions worsen, emergency services personnel may contact you through the emergency notification system “KPBalerts.” Residents and visitors should always practice a “Be Ready” state of preparedness regardless of conditions. We should always be prepared. Visit www.kpboem.com for more information. You may also call the borough call center from 8AM - 10PM at 907-262-INFO(4636).

August 18, 2019, 7:45 PM KPBSD schools, Swan Lake Fire, and Sterling Highway closure



Kenai Peninsula Borough School District schools and Swan Lake Fire

Cooper Landing School: KPBSD will make a determination on Monday afternoon based on fire activity and recommendations from OEM if Cooper Landing School will open on Tuesday or postpone the first day of school. This decision and announcement will be made and communicated by Monday evening.

At this time, we anticipate all other KPBSD schools will open on Tuesday for the first day of school on a normal schedule.

KPBSD staff: if the Sterling Highway road closure impacts your ability to arrive to work at your scheduled time on Monday, contact your school administrator. The district recognizes this is a highly unusual and unpredictable fire event, and HR will work with staff who are stranded and unable to make it to work on time.

Nanwakek and Port Graham schools will open for the first day of school on Monday, August 19, 2019, on a normal schedule.

Shelter sites: Seward High School and the Soldotna Sports Center are open to stranded motorists and travelers. Thank you Seward High!

Follow KPB Alerts on Facebook, or visit www.KPBoem.blogspot.com for up-to-date fire information.

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08/18/2019 Swan Lake Fire Evening Update, 6pm



The extreme high winds that pushed the Swan Lake Fire across the Sterling Highway at MP 60 last night continued through the day today, pushing the fire into the Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area north of Hideout Hill and east to Jim’s Landing. The Fire did cross the Upper Kenai River near the Kenai River Trail.  Fire growth in the Thurman Creek, Mystery Creek and Dike Creek drainages continued to the east. Flames from an interior area of the fire were carried through previously burned dry fuels to the Sterling Highway near mile 70, crossing the highway this afternoon.

Traffic on Sterling Highway between mile 53 to 75 was halted as of 1 p.m. today due to fire activity and risk from adjacent utility infrastructure. The highway will remain closed at least until Monday. This is an evolving safety situation and motorists are asked to avoid the area. Check for updates on this evolving situation at http://511.alaska.gov/.

Closures in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge have been extended to include the entire length of Skilak Lake Road. The Russian River Ferry was closed and cleared early today. Skilak Lake Road and all adjacent recreational trails and day use areas are closed. Previous closures are still in place and include Fuller Lake Trail, Skyline Trail, the Russian River Ferry, Hidden Lake Campground, Jim’s Landing, Sportsman’s Landing, Hideout Trail, and the Kenai River Trail. 

Closures in Chugach National Forest include the Russian River Campground, K’Beq Day Use Area, Barber Cabin, Russian River Falls, and the Russian Lakes Trail from the Russian River Campground south to Barber Cabin. Closures remain in place on Resurrection Pass Trail from the junction of Devil’s Pass south to the Sterling Highway. This closure includes the following public use cabins: West Swan Lake, Swan Lake, Trout, Romig, and Juneau. People with recreation-related questions should contact the Seward Ranger District Kenai Lake Work Center at 907- 288-3178.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough has issued a Level 1: Ready for the Cooper Landing community. A Level 1 (READY) evacuation alert is NOT a notice to leave. This alert means that you must be ready for potential evacuation. There is a fire in your local area. Assist family members with special needs, arrange to move mobile property (boats, trailers, ATV), and prepare pets or livestock. Monitor social media, news and radio for information.  Check for further information on www.kpboem.com or call the Borough Call Center at 907-262-INFO (4636) for updates. 

Air Quality Report  Air quality monitors have been set up near the fire area. Data from monitors in Cooper Landing can be viewed at https://tinyurl.com/y3rsbkr5. The monitor in Sterling can be found at https://tinyurl.com/y5ens5fv.









08/18/19 Shelters in Seward and Soldotna Open Tonight

A Red Cross Alaska is staffing a shelter this evening at the Soldotna Sports Complex for individuals displaced by the Sterling Highway closure. The address is 538 Arena Ave #8200, Soldotna, AK 99669 Individuals with livestock may use the rodeo grounds on the adjacent property. Free camping is also available at the Centennial and Swiftwater campgrounds in Soldotna.


The Seward High School is also open as a shelter tonight. It is being staffed by the City of Seward Parks & Recreation employees. The address is 2100 Swetman St, Seward, AK 99664. 


Continue to monitor virtual joint information system website at www.kpboem.com for fire updates, the interactive map and smoke impact links. The borough's call center volunteers are taking answering calls from 8AM - 10PM. Call 907-262-INFO (4636) for current information.

8/18/19 Sterling Highway Remains Closed

According to the Alaska State Troopers  and the Division of Forestry in Soldotna, the earliest the Sterling Highway could open would be sometime Monday, August 19th. However, there is no guarantee it will open then and, even if it does open,  it's not known when that might happen.

We appreciate your patience.  The fire has crossed the highway and significant winds are pushing it.  We will post information here and on the KPB Alerts Facebook page when we have it.