Kenai river partially reopens to boating after Swan Lake Fire shows minimal growth

The fire is currently at 162,328 acres — an increase of only 149 acres since yesterday

The Swan Lake Fire experienced another night of minimal growth thanks to cooler and wetter conditions on the peninsula.

The fire is currently at 162,328 acres — an increase of only 149 acres since yesterday, according to the latest update from the Great Basin Incident Management Team. Fire managers anticipate little growth today, however, warmer and drier conditions are forecast over the next few days, which could lead to an increase in activity later in the week.

Minimal activity from the Swan Lake Fire prompted fire managers to reopen a portion of the Kenai River to the public today. The river will be open to boating between the Cooper Landing Boat Launch and Sportsman’s Landing from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Law enforcement will be ticketing anyone who passes Sportsman’s Landing.

On the southwest and southern portions of the fire, mop-up operations continue along existing containment lines. Crews are also clearing trees that have been blown down along the Skilak Lake Road. Skilak Lake Road is anticipated to be closed for the foreseeable future due to firefighting efforts along the road and danger from falling trees. The Sterling Highway is now open without pilot car operations.

North of Cooper Landing, fire crews hiked into the Resurrection Pass Trail to build direct fire line southeast of Trout Lake in the Shaft Creek area. When weather permits, helicopter bucket-drop operations are being used to assist those crews on the ground. The priority for these operations is to reduce the potential for fire spread toward Cooper Landing.

A 10-person Wildland Fire Use Module will be spiked at the Doroshin Cabin in the Skilak Lake area for the next two days. This team is equipped to handle a wide variety of planning, strategic and tactical wildland fire assignments, according to the National Wildfire Coordinating Group’s Standards for Wildland Fire Module Operations. Wildland Fire Use Modules operate on a high level of self-sufficiency and have the capability of operating in remote locations without the need for additional supplies or support from assigned incident management teams. Tuesday, the Wildland Fire Use Module completed a hand line in the area, and today they will install hose line and sprinkler systems along that line.

In the community of Cooper Landing, crews continue to use chippers to reduce fuels and are working today on the contingency line going down Russian Gap Road. A dozer line in the power line corridor south of Cooper Landing is also nearing completion.

For the latest information on the fire, visit

More in News

Registered Nurse Cathy Davis (left) and Chief Nursing Officer Dawn Johnson (right) work at a table to get COVID-19 tests ready for the public Friday, May 29, 2020 at the Boat House Pavilion on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. South Peninsula Hospital is now offering free COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic people with no appointments necessary at the Boat House Pavilion through June 6. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
1 new COVID-19 case in Homer as hospital offers free testing on the Spit

Additional COVID-19 cases announced in Soldotna and in a nonresident visitor to the peninsula

7 new cases of COVID-19 on Kenai Peninsula

4 of the new cases are on the southern peninsula, and Nikiski has its first case

2 new COVID-19 cases, 1 new hospitization

The Arctic Slope Native Association reported the first positive case in the North Slope region.

Photos by Megan Pacer / Homer News
                                Music lovers listen to a performance on the River Stage at Salmonfest on Aug. 4, 2018, in Ninilchik.
Salmonfest music festival canceled for 2020

Salmonfest director confident next year’s festival will go ahead as planned.

Man charged with illegally importing, releasing fish in peninsula lake

The man allegedly shipped 144 rainbow trout to Alaska that were released into a closed lake.

The Kenai River can be seen from the Funny River Campground on Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Funny River, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Area fishing guides hit hard by pandemic

“If the quarantine doesn’t come off pretty soon, I think we’ll just be out of luck this year.”

Tri-The-Kenai may be gone for good

The 10th running of the event this year would have been June 14.

State experts field questions on pandemic

The state also reported two additional resident cases and two additional nonresident cases.

Most Read