Consistent high temperatures and dry conditions on the peninsula have caused the Swan Lake Fire to flare up once again, according to a Wednesday update from the Alaska Division of Forestry. While the fire has not experienced any substantial perimeter growth, interior islands of green fuels and other ground fuels continue to burn. According to the update, a substantial amount of precipitation is needed to prevent deeper layers of ground fuel from burning.
The peninsula is currently experiencing a moderate drought. Water drops from helicopters were used on Tuesday to cool an area near the Sterling Highway above Upper Jean Lake.
The 102,548-acre fire is burning in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge east of Sterling and north of the Sterling Highway and is currently 80% contained. There is no immediate threat to property values in the area, however some closures remain in effect. Due to the ongoing fire activity, refuge managers have closed Mystery Creek Road and the Enstar Pipeline right of way.
Smoke from the fire is visible from the Sterling Highway between Mileposts 65 and 75. Motorist are advised to use caution when driving through the fire area.
For more information about the fire, call the incident management team at 208-391-3488.