The Swan Lake Fire, as seen from the Mystery Hills, burns Wednesday, June 12, 2019, on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

The Swan Lake Fire, as seen from the Mystery Hills, burns Wednesday, June 12, 2019, on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Swan Lake fire continues to grow

The Swan Lake fire in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge shows no signs of slowing down and reached 12,564 acres in size as of Friday evening.

The fire continued to spread mostly to the north and east at a rate of 1/2 mile per hour, according to a June 15 update from the Division of Forestry. Firefighters were able to prevent it from spreading toward the Sterling Highway. The northeast perimeter continues to be monitored by personnel from the Division of Forestry as hand crews work on protection lines for the southwest perimeter.

An air tanker and two large helicopters are providing strategic water drops to protect the highway, the community of Sterling and energy infrastructure, but no retardants are being used because of the fire’s proximity to an anadromous stream. According to the update, retardants could be used if the fire poses a direct threat to infrastructure, which is not the case at this time. Light rain is expected throughout the weekend, but not enough to slow fire activity. Meteorologists expect gusts of wind coming from the southeast at up to 20 miles per hour that may challenge the current fire management strategies in place.

Motorists should watch for fire crews and vehicles entering the Sterling Highway near Mile 82 and 92 between Sterling and Cooper Landing. On Saturday, an air quality advisory was issued by the Division of Air Quality for parts of Southcentral Alaska due to persistent smoke from the Swan Lake fire. According to the advisory, smoke from the fire is trapped below low-level clouds and air quality will range between “good” and “unhealthy” for the duration that the advisory is in effect in the communities of Sterling, Soldotna, Kenai and Nikiski. The advisory also cautions that any area immediately downwind of the fire will experience hazardous levels of smoke, especially overnight and into the early morning.

For more information on the air quality advisory or the Swan Lake fire, visit www.kpboem.com.

More in News

Copies of the Peninsula Clarion are photographed on Friday, June 21, 2024. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Announcing a new Peninsula Clarion print schedule

Our last Wednesday edition will be delivered June 26.

A bucket of recently caught sockeye salmon rests on the sand while anglers seek to fill it further at the mouth of the Kasilof River on Monday, June 26, 2023, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Dipnetting in Kasilof opens Tuesday

Dipnetting will be allowed at all times until Aug. 7

The Kasilof River is seen from the Kasilof River Recreation Area, July 30, 2019, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Fish and Game restricts bait on Kasilof, Ninilchik Rivers

The use of bait on the rivers will begin Friday and extend to July 15 in Ninilchik, July 31 in Kasilof

A man fishes in the Kenai River on July 16, 2018, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion/file)
Slow sockeye fishing on Kenai, Russian Rivers

Northern Kenai Fishing Report for June 20

Alaska Department of Fish and Game logo. (Graphic by Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Bag limits doubled for sockeye salmon in Resurrection Bay

The increase is effective from June 21 to July 31

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion
Girl Scout Troop 210, which includes Caitlyn Eskelin, Emma Hindman, Kadie Newkirk and Lyberty Stockman, present their “Bucket Trees” to a panel of judges in the 34th Annual Caring for the Kenai Competition at Kenai Central High School on Thursday, April 18.
Caring for the Kenai winners receive EPA award

Winning team of the 34th annual Caring for the Kenai was selected for the President’s Environmental Youth Award

Norm Blakely speaks to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly in Soldotna, Alaska, on Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly approves resolution guiding efforts to increase voter turnout

The Voter Turnout Working Group was established to explore options and ideas aimed at increasing voter participation

Most Read