The Swan Lake Fire’s growth has slowed significantly as September continues to bring cooler temperatures and periodic rainfall to the Kenai Peninsula.
The fire is currently at 163,714 acres and is 37% contained, according to the latest update from the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team. The cost of the fire has reached more than $43.4 million to date, according to the latest update of the National Interagency Coordination Center’s Incident Management Situation Report.
On Wednesday, fire crews focused on suppressing hot spots along the southeastern portion of the fire near the Fuller Lakes Trail and Trout Lake, and a helicopter was used to help cool the areas of heat near Fuller Lakes.
South of the Kenai River, crews continued to patrol and mop up where needed.
On the southwest side of the fire, crews focused on cutting weakened trees and chipping brush along Skilak Lake Road. The road is partially opened from the western entrance to the Lower Skilak Boat Ramp, but motorists are urged to use caution when accessing the ramp from Skilak Lake Road. Public information officer Nick Holloway said that hazards are present beyond the boat ramp access and the rest of the road remains closed and staffed.
High winds are anticipated for Friday, with gusts potentially exceeding 25 mph. Fire behavior is expected to remain low during this time, although the heavy fuels and ground duff layers will continue to hold heat.
A temporary flight restriction (TFR) remains in effect over the Swan Lake airspace. The Kenai River remains closed beyond Jim’s Landing to Skilak Lake, and the Lower Skilak campground and day use facility remains closed as well. All of the lands off the Lower Skilak boat access road, including Marsh Lake and day use facilities remain closed. All refuge lands that have been burned are closed to public access. Information on these closures is available at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6387