Swan Lake Fire
September 30, 2019
Firefighters working on the 167,164 acre Swan Lake Fire have completed the majority of suppression repair work including chipping brush piles and repairing containment lines built by dozers and crews. The Swan Lake Fire remains 90% percent contained and smoke may be visible from within the interior of the fire perimeter until there is significant precipitation. The estimated containment date has been advanced to December 31, 2019 due to the deep pockets of duff and heavy fuels that will continue to smolder and produce visible smoke in some locations for several weeks and possibly months.
Access routes to reopened facilities on the Kenai NWR pass through areas burned by the Swan Lake Fire, and some of these facilities lie immediately adjacent to burned habitats. Hazards within the burn include fire-weakened standing trees which can fall without warning and deep ash pits holding residual heat capable of causing severe burns. All lands burned by the fire within the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge remain closed, and the public is urged to exercise caution in these areas.
Both the USDA Forest Service and the US Fish and Wildlife Service both deployed Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Teams to assess the potential post-wildfire hazards. Following a fire, the first priority is emergency stabilization in order to prevent further damage to life, property or natural resources on public lands. Rehabilitation focuses on the lands unlikely to recover naturally from wildland fire damage. Implementation of the assessments will begin this week.
Restrictions/Closures: An area closure remains in effect for all refuge and national forest lands that have been burned. Skilak Lake Road is open to provide access to Lower Skilak, Upper Skilak, and Jim’s Landing boat launches and Bottenintnin Lake. Some recreation facilities in this area including campgrounds, trails, and day-use areas remain closed. Conditions will be re-evaluated for safety, but extensive repair may be needed before reopening trails. Contact the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge visitor center by calling 907-260-2820 or visiting https://www.fws.gov/refuge/kenai/ for more information.
Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR): The TFR for the Swan Lake Fire (9/9687 NOTAM) was lifted at 9 p.m. on Friday, September 27, 2019.
Cooperating Agencies: US Fish and Wildlife Service, State of Alaska Division of Forestry, USDA 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.
This will be the last update for the Swan Lake Fire unless significant activity occurs. Additional information can be found on the links listed below or call Alaska Division of Forestry, Public Information Officer Tim Mowry at (907)-356 -5511.
Alaska Fire Info: https://akfireinfo.com
Public Information Phone: (907) 356 -5511
Kenai Peninsula Borough: http://kpboem.com/