Acres Burned: 7,352
Cause: Human – Under Investigation
Structures Destroyed: 11
Closures: west end of Skilak Loop Road and campgrounds
Water Tenders: 4
Total personnel: approx. 451
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. 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: A marine layer will be in place over the fire area in the morning, burning off to sunshine in the afternoon. Temperatures are expected to top out at 75 degrees, with mostly sunny skies and southwesterly winds to 2-5 mph 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.