A map shows the extent of the Swan Lake Fire as of Monday, July 8, 2019, which has grown to 96,889 acres on the Kenai Peninsula. (Courtesy Northwest Incident Management Team)

A map shows the extent of the Swan Lake Fire as of Monday, July 8, 2019, which has grown to 96,889 acres on the Kenai Peninsula. (Courtesy Northwest Incident Management Team)

Swan Lake Fire expansion slows over weekend

The fire is 96,889 acres and moving into higher elevations.

Growth of the Swan Lake Fire near Sterling has slowed despite another hot, dry weekend, according to a Monday update from the Northwest Incident Management Team. The fire is 96,889 acres, and is now just over half the size of the 2014 Funny River Fire, which burned a total area of 193,597 acres. There are 394 personnel working on the fire, which is 14% contained.

Another community meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Cooper Landing school.

The east flank of the fire continues to move into higher elevations and into the Mystery Creek, Thurman Creek and Chickaloon River drainages.

Fire crews are assessing public recreation cabins along the Resurrection Pass Trail for possible point protection, in case the fire reaches the trail. The Chugach National Forest has issued a partial closure of the Resurrection Pass Trail, and fire restrictions are in effect prohibiting building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, or some stoves, including charcoal fires.

Firefighters have been successful at holding the north end of the fire along the ENSTAR pipeline and the Chickaloon River.

The western edge of the fire continues to smolder along marshy areas, and mop ups continue along the southwest corner. Firefighters are working toward a full containment along the Sterling Highway.

Warm, dry weather is expected to continue, however, a potential break in the high pressure system over Alaska may allow for cooler temperatures and an increase in clouds midweek.

Winds have been mostly out of the north, but a change to southerly direction is anticipated.

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