Cooper Landing crew sent home, injured firefighter released

The Juneau Lake fire near Cooper Landing is now estimated at 580 acres, while the Stetson Creek fire has held steady.

Public Information Officer Meg Cicciarella said work on both fires has remained the same over the last few days.

“(They’re) still mopping up and securing the perimeter,” she said.

The Stetson Creek fire is 70 percent contained, and the Juneau Lake fire is 55 percent contained.

One initial attack crew from Montana was let go from the Juneau Lake fire, Cicciarella said.

“It generally means that the situation does not need attention from firefighters on suppression efforts,” Cicciarella said. “The Juneau Lake cabin will remain closed for monitoring purposes.”

Elsewhere in the area, the Cooper Creek South campground reopened Friday, and the Romig, Trout Lake and Swan cabins near Juneau Lake reopened on Saturday.

Cicciarella said firefighters will continue working toward better containment of each fire’s perimeter, then move to the center of the fires to ensure they are burning itself out.

“They do this mop up which is going so many feet in toward, let’s say, the center of the fire … sometimes it’s 100 feet and sometimes it’s 300 feet,” Cicciarella said. “The idea is that when you go in that far there’s nothing left because the fire has consumed all the fuel.”

Public Information Officer Jean Goad said that because each fire is different, complete containment and perimeter lines are not always needed. Fires that run into natural barriers, for example, are already contained in some areas.

“On the Juneau Lake fire, they won’t have a containment line around the whole thing,” she said. “There’s one section that’s burning into a snow bank.”

According to a press release from the United States Department of Agriculture, crews are also working to remove extra supplies and equipment from the area. Management of the fires will be returned to the Chugach National Forest on Sunday.

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