The Northern Rockies Incident Management Team assumed command of the Swan Lake Fire as of 9 p.m. Monday night.
The fire experienced another day of little activity Monday now that September has brought cloudy skies, cooler temperatures, higher humidity and some precipitation to the area. The fire continues to smolder in layers of deep duff, however, and Public Information Officer Andy Lyon with the Great Basin Incident Management Team said on Monday that without “significant rainfall” there is a real potential for some areas to continue smoldering through the winter.
The focus of the incident management team continues to be the perimeter of the fire closest to Cooper Landing. During the transition Monday, crews from the Northern Rockies team assessed the structure protection measures in place around Cooper Landing and began patrolling the southeastern and southwestern sides of the fire. Fire behavior Tuesday was similar to Monday, which allowed crews to further strengthen existing containment lines while aerial resources remained available for water drops. Extra equipment and supplies no longer in use are now being backhauled.
The fire is currently at 163,714 acres and is 37% contained, according to Tuesday’s update from the incident management team. The Northern Rockies Management Team consists of 430 personnel. Management of the fire has cost approximately $43.5 million to date, according to the latest update from the National Interagency Coordination Center’s Incident Management Situation Report.
Boaters are now able to use the Kenai River from Cooper Landing to Jim’s Landing without time restrictions. The river remains closed below Jim’s Landing. The Russian River Campground, Russian Lakes Trail, Russian River Falls, Barber Cabin and the K’Beq Day Use Area are now open.
Bottenintin Lake Day Use Area is also reopened and is accessible from the west entrance of Skilak Lake Road on the south side of the road at Mile 18.5. The Caribou Lake Fire is now 100% contained at 870 acres. All of the equipment, supplies and firefighters have been removed from the fire, and management has been returned to the State of Alaska Division of Forestry.