On Wednesday, crews made significant progress and completed large sections of containment line on the east, south, and west portions of the Caribou Lake Fire. All of the containment lines were tested by gusty winds on Wednesday, but there was no significant growth. The Caribou Lake Fire remains 904 acres; however, the containment has increased to 57 percent. Containment means that a control line has been completed which can reasonably be expected to stop the fire’s spread.
On Thursday, firefighters will continue with the full containment strategy. Crews will secure existing control lines and mop up to reduce potential for flare-ups and spotting, while working to secure the northern edge of the fire in the Boxcar Hills. Cooler temperatures and cloud cover will limit fire growth. Minimal fire growth is expected over the next several days. Firefighting aircraft continues to be available to assist firefighters on the ground as needed. Although there are cabins and other structures in the area, no structures are threatened at this time.
Safety: Helicopters and firefighters will be using a portion of the gravel pit parking area on Basargin Road as a helispot in support of the Caribou Lake Fire. Fire officials are asking people to avoid parking in the area near the helispot for the safety of the firefighters and public.
Weather: High pressure will provide overall dry conditions and above average temperatures through Friday. Thursday will be partly cloudy with highs in the low 60s to low 70s. Light winds during the day will continue into the evening, as temperatures cool to the low 40s. On Friday, conditions will be similar to Thursday before an increase in cloud cover in the evening. An increased chance of precipitation becomes possible beginning on Friday evening and is expected to last through the weekend.
Sterling Highway: Although the Sterling Highway remains open, motorists should be prepared to wait for the pilot car to shuttle them between MP71 and MP40. Smoke will be the densest during the overnight and early morning hours, as the cooler air causes the smoke to settle in low-lying areas. For the latest road conditions, visit 511.alaska.gov.
A Dense Smoke Advisory in effect for the Western Kenai Peninsula, including the cities of Kenai, Soldotna, Homer, and Cooper Landing until 1:00 p.m. Thursday, August 29, 2019.
Evacuations and Closures: None
Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR): A TFR is in place for air space over the Caribou Lake Fire (9/7506 NOTAM). The TFR includes unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), or drones, as well. Flying drones near wildfires could cause injury or death to firefighters as a result of a mid-air collision with tactical firefighting aircraft.