A Community meeting will be held on Friday, July 5, 2019, at 6:00 PM at the Cooper Landing School, 19030 Bean Creek Road, Cooper Landing, Alaska.
Fire behavior increased yesterday due to hot and dry weather conditions over the fire area. Strategic planning to develop tactical objectives in the east and southeast section of the fire area continues. Crews are mopping up and removing hazardous trees to secure the edge of the established line, north of the Homer Electric transmission line. Crews along the East Fork of the Moose River continue to burnout remaining green pockets and are mopping up. Remote sites to the north and northwest have additional personnel and they strengthened structure protection in place. Resources continue to support the local initial attack efforts as requested by local unit. Night shift was quiet last night and will remain patrolling the Sterling Highway and monitoring smoke conditions. An air resource adviser has arrived to work with the incident management team to monitor smoke conditions. Three monitors are being set up to measure air quality in Cooper Landing, Seward and Sterling. The highway remains open but firefighters will be present; please use caution.The mosaic burn pattern of the Swan Lake Fire is removing hazardous black spruce and providing for a more fire-resilient landscape in the future. Long term, it will reduce the fire risk to communities, improve habitat and create diversity. Residents are encouraged to take this opportunity to ensure their property is Firewise. For information about Firewise Communities and how to increase defensible space around your property, please visit http://forestry.alaska.gov/fire/firewise.Campfires are restricted to enclosed fire rings/grates within designated campgrounds/cabins within the Kenai NWR, Kenai Fjords NP, Kenai Peninsula State Parks and Chugach NF lands on the Kenai Peninsula.
WEATHER: Temperatures will remain extremely hot and dry and continue to be in the low 90’s for the foreseeable future. Winds will be coming from the north and northwest with a high pressure system holding the smoke lower on the ground around Cooper Landing. Smoke remains a health and safety concern. For smoke forecasts from Alaska wildfires, visit UAFSMOKE at http://smoke.alaska.edu.
SAFETY: Construction continues along the Sterling Highway. Firefighters continue to patrol the area and construction workers are present. Please use lights and caution when driving. If visibility is reduced due to nighttime inversions with low visibility, traffic delays may be possible. For current road conditions visit http://511.alaska.gov. The Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) has expanded to include the western portion of the Chugach National Forest and still includes the Sterling Highway corridor to support suppression efforts and firefighter safety. Pilots can confirm the current TFR restrictions at http://tfr.faa.gov. Personal drone operation is not permitted on the refuge.
KENAI NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE INFORMATION: As of noon today, the following areas are closed: Watson Lake CG, Peterson Lake CG, Kelly Lake CG, Jean Lake CG, Mystery Creek Road, Skyline Trail and Seven Lakes Trail, Kelly Lake Cabin, Trapper Joe Cabin, Big Indian Cabin, East Fork Moose River, Watson Lake, Kelly Lake, Peterson Lake, Jean Lake and Bottenintin Lake. Contact the Refuge Visitor Center at 907-260-2820 or online at http://kenai.fws.gov.