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

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