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, July 16, 2019

07/16/19 Swan Lake Fire Update

YESTERDAY: The Eastern Area Incident Management Team Type 2 assumed command of the Swan Lake Fire at 8:00 a.m.  Minimal fire spread was observed with limited interior smoldering and isolated torching.
TODAY: Firefighters will continue working on the east flank of the fire.  The Chickaloon, Thurman, and Mystery Creek drainages are expected to have little growth potential in the next 48 hours. Crews are utilizing natural features and existing trails as fire lines to establish control lines to curb eastward fire spread.  These improvements will reduce the chance of fire spread in the future, resulting in more fire resilient landscapes and communities. The west flank of the fire has been kept in check by a system of wetlands and control lines. Mop up efforts remain a challenge as extremely dry fuels are very susceptible to ignition.
SUMMARY: The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge has experienced fire in recent history, however the area of the refuge where the fire is burning has not seen fire since 1947. Also, areas up in the mountains have no record of fire.  Natural fire on the landscape benefits the ecosystem and will remove beetle-killed spruce to reduce future large scale fire impacts.
WEATHER:  Mostly cloudy in the morning with potential isolated showers.  Partial clearing in the afternoon.  Temperatures will be in the mid 70’s with light northeasterly winds in the morning, shifting to northerly winds in the afternoon.
AIR QUALITY: Cooper Landing could see smoke in the area in the afternoon and evening.  Sections of Sterling Highway may see light smoke overnight. For smoke forecasts from Alaska wildfires, visit UAFSMOKE at
SAFETY:  Watch for construction zones and smoke along the Sterling Highway. Helicopters will be very active in the southeast corner of the fire along Sterling highway near Upper Jean Lake.  Please obey the speed limit and do not stop along the highway shoulder in order to protect firefighters, construction crews, and other drivers.  Alaska State Troopers and US Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Officers are monitoring for visibility impacts due to smoke and fog on Sterling and Seward Highways.  Please use headlights. For current road conditions visit The Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) includes the western portion of the Chugach National Forest and the Sterling Highway corridor. The use of drones in the TFR and the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is not permitted.  Pilots can confirm the current TFR restrictions at: .

The current fire map is dated 07/15/19 and may be viewed in the 07/1/19 post below.

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