Hot and dry weather continue to exacerbate the Swan Lake Fire, which is now at 84,492 acres, according to the latest update from the Northwest 13 Incident Management Team. Temperatures in the area are forecasted to be in the low 90s for the foreseeable future, and winds will be coming in from the north and northwest with a high pressure system keeping the smoke low to the ground near Cooper Landing.
A community meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday at Cooper Landing Elementary School to address concerns about smoke conditions in the area. An air resource advisor has joined the incident management team assess smoke conditions, and three monitors are being being set up in Cooper Landing, Seward and Sterling to measure air quality. For smoke forecasts from Alaska wildfires, visit the University of Alaska Fairbanks smoke predictor website.
Construction continues along the Sterling Highway and firefighters are also patrolling the area, so motorists should be advised of possible delays and low visibility during nighttime smoke inversions. For current road conditions, visit the Alaska 511 website.
The Temporary Flight Restriction has expanded to include the western portion of the Chugach National Forest to support suppression efforts and firefighter safety. Pilots can confirm current flight restrictions at http://tfr.faa.gov.
As of noon on Thursday, the following areas of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge are closed, including campgrounds and cabins: Watson Lake, Peterson Lake, Jean Lake, Kelly Lake, Trapper Joe Cabin, Big Indian Cabin, East Fork Moose River, Bottenintin Lake, Skyline Trail, Seven Lakes Trail and Mystery Creek Road. For more information, call the Refuge Visitor Center at 907-260-2820.
For the latest on the Swan Lake Fire, call the Incident Management Team at 208-391-3488 or visit kpboem.com.