The Sterling Highway cuts through areas of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge where burns from the Swan Lake can be seen, Sunday, May 22, 2022. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

The Sterling Highway cuts through areas of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge where burns from the Swan Lake can be seen, Sunday, May 22, 2022. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Prescribed burns will produce visible smoke near highways

The burns are part of ongoing spruce beetle mitigation efforts

Prescribed burns around the Chugach National Forest will produce smoke visible at several points along the Sterling and Seward Highways over the next couple of months, a Thursday media advisory from the Chugach National Forest says.

The burns are part of ongoing spruce beetle mitigation efforts, the forest says, and will reduce hazardous fuel — decreasing the potential for wildfire and lessening severity “should it occur.” The burns are scheduled throughout the fall and into the “early winter.”

According to the advisory, the forest service will collaborate with the National Weather Service and the State Department of Environmental Conservation to schedule burns under conditions favorable to smoke dispersion.

Despite that, the forest says smoke will be visible at six points along the highways on the Kenai Peninsula. On the Sterling Highway, smoke will be visible near Russian River Campground, Cooper Creek Campground and Crescent Creek Campground. On the Seward Highway, smoke will be visible near Milepost 35, close to the Sterling and Seward Highway Junction in the direction of Moose Pass. Finally, smoke will be visible in Hope, near the Hope Point Trailhead.

Fore more information about the Chugach National Forest, visit

Reach reporter Jake Dye at

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