Location: 5 miles northeast of Sterling, AK
Incident Command: Type 2 Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 4, Rick Connell, I.C.
Size: 167,164 acres Containment: 81% Personnel: 173
Transfer of Command: The Northern Rockies Team 4 will be transitioning with a Type 3 organization and transfer of command is planned for Sept. 24 at 8:00 a.m. This will be the last Fire Fact Sheet from Team 4. All of us from Northern Rockies Team 4 would like to say THANK YOU to the residents of Cooper Landing, Sterling, and Soldotna for your hospitality and patience with us over the past 16 days. We have been honored to assist with this fire and appreciate the wonderful place you live in called the Kenai Peninsula. Farewell!
Current Status: Yesterday, a helicopter and two crews assisted with the installation of erosion control features on a dozer constructed fire suppression line between Skilak Road and the Kenai River. Another crew and one excavator worked on suppression repair on the east side of the fire. In Cooper Landing one engine was on patrol to make sure that all the repair work and clean up was completed. The temperatures remained cool with partly cloudy skies in the afternoon. Snow has been accumulating higher in the mountains. Fire behavior continued to remain very low throughout the day.
Planned Actions: Fire crews will continue to repair suppression lines on the east and south sides of the fire. In areas where the fire reached roads firefighters will continue to monitor for fire weakened trees falling and cut them as needed. Dry and cool conditions are expected overnight on Sunday. On Monday there is a chance of scattered rain showers over the fire area but with minimal amounts. Temperatures will remain cool with high humidity. The weather patterns over the fire area continue to bring cooler than normal temperatures and regular rounds of moisture. The deep duff pockets and heavy fuels will continue to smolder and cause visible smoke in some locations for several weeks.
Key Message: Residents and visitors need to be aware that hazardous conditions exist in the burned areas that can be difficult to see. Standing trees can weaken and fall as the fire burns the organic duff layer surrounding their roots. Any amount of wind will blow these trees down. The fire has burned very deep in some places, leaving hot ash pits behind. Please remember to keep pets and children close at hand and out of the burned area. Restrictions/Closures: An area closure remains in effect for all refuge and national forest lands that have been burned. All recreation facilities along the Skilak Road, including campgrounds, trails, and day use areas remain closed. Information on these closures is available at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6387/.
Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR): The current TFR in place for air space over part of the Swan Lake Fire (9/9687 NOTAM) will lesson impacts to local aviation operators. Remember that temporary flight restrictions also apply to unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or drones. If you fly, we can’t!
Cooperating Agencies: US Fish and Wildlife Service, State of Alaska Division of Forestry, US Forest Service, Alaska State Parks, Kenai Peninsula Borough, Central Emergency Services, Cooper Landing Volunteer Fire Department, Alaska State Troopers, Alaska Department of Transportation, Alaska Department of Fish & Game.