Location: 5 miles northeast of Sterling, AK
Incident Command: Alaska Type 3 Organization, Zane Brown Incident Commander
Size: 167,164 acres Containment: 81% Personnel: 147
Current Status: Yesterday, crews removed hazard trees, chipping them where possible, and worked on suppression repair along Skilak Lake Road. Crews installed erosion control systems on dozer-constructed containment lines along Skilak Lake Road. To the north of Kenai River and Cooper Landing, patrols monitored the fire to protect cabins on Resurrection Trail. Crews continued to monitor fire activity north and south of the Kenai River to find and extinguish residual hot spots. In Cooper Landing, two engine crews worked to reduce fuels around structures and continue with suppression repair and clean-up efforts. Overall, very low fire behavior resulted in minimal surface spread, however deep duff pockets continue to smolder and produce visible smoke.
Planned Actions: Today, fire crews will continue suppression repair operations and monitor fire lines in the Kenai Wilderness, focusing efforts on the Seven Lakes Trail. Along Skilak Road, two engines will remove fire-weakened trees and conduct chipping operations. Suppression repair and clean-up will also occur on the south perimeter of the fire as crews backhaul hose lays. An engine will also provide support for a Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team to assess areas north of Cooper Landing. Fire behavior will remain low, however 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 Lake Road, including campgrounds, trails, and day-use areas remain closed. Contact the Refuge Visitor Center by calling 907-260-2820 or by clicking www.kenai.fws.gov.
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.