The control line along the southwest corner of the Swan Lake Fire has been completed and will remain for years to come, according to a Thursday update from the Northwest 13 Incident Management Team. The line now runs from the Sterling Highway along the East Fork of the Moose River into the wetland areas along the south and west side of the fire. According to the update, this will prevent the fire from moving farther west toward Sterling. As of the latest update Thursday, the fire is 100,027 acres and is 24% contained.
Along the Skyline and Fuller Lakes Trails, firefighters continue to remove flammable brush and understory vegetation ahead of the fire. These operations are meant to reduce the chance of the fire spreading east along the Sterling Highway corridor. Crews are also clearing vegetation around public use cabins near Resurrection Pass Trail to reduce the chance of fire spread in the future.
Personnel will also be working in the Cooper Landing area to assess properties for any potential structure protection that will be needed. Residents are encouraged to take this opportunity to speak with fire personnel about making their properties more fire-resistant.
Partly cloudy conditions and cooler temperatures have slowed the growth of the fire, but there is still very little chance for rain heading into the weekend.
Motorists should be aware of potential delays along the Sterling Highway due to construction, smoke conditions and activity from fire personnel. For current road conditions, visit http://511.alaska.gov. A temporary flight restriction is in effect over the area, and pilots can confirm current restrictions at http://tfr.faa.gov.
In response to current extreme fire danger, all open fires are prohibited immediately, including campfires, until further notice, in Kenai Peninsula State Parks, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Kenai Fjords National Park and Chugach National Forest lands on the Kenai Peninsula. Use of cooking stoves and gas grills is allowed. In addition, Kenai Peninsula State Parks will allow the use of charcoal in contained cooking grills but these remain prohibited on other listed public lands.
Some facilities in the Skilak Lake recreation area remain closed. For the latest information on closures in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, call the Refuge Visitor Center at 907-260-2820 or visit http://kenai.fws.gov.
The Resurrection Pass Trail in the Chugach National Forest has also been partially closed. For the latest information on Chugach closures and restrictions visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/news/chugach/news-events.
For the latest information on the Swan Lake Fire, visit kpboem.com or call the incident management team at 208-391-3488.