The extent of the Swan Lake Fire can be seen in this map released Monday. (Courtesy Alaska Incident Management Team)

The extent of the Swan Lake Fire can be seen in this map released Monday. (Courtesy Alaska Incident Management Team)

Dunleavy tours fire scene as blaze grows

Swan Lake Fire surpasses 70,000 acres

Gov. Mike Dunleavy visited the Kenai Peninsula Monday to meet with fire crews and personnel battling the Swan Lake Fire north of Sterling.

Dunleavy met with the incident commander, state and federal officials and on-scene fire crews, and attended a status meeting at the incident command in Sterling, spokesman Matt Shuckerow said in an email.

Shuckerow said Dunleavy focused on learning about the fire, hearing more about the state and federal response efforts, and thanking those working to contain the blaze.

As of Monday, the Swan Lake Fire had grown to more than 70,330 acres, or around 110 square miles, according to a Monday update from the Alaska Incident Management Team.

The fire is slowly moving northeast.

Nearly 500 personnel are making progress on the fire, with about 15% of it contained.

Warm and dry weather is testing fire lines, as well as dry black spruce. Fire containment lines were held on Sunday, north of the highway and Homer Electric transmission line, according to the update. Crews in the area continued suppression repair, restoration work and mop-up of the four-day burnout across 17 miles, which was designed to protect the community, the update said.

In the muskeg northwest of the fire, activity increased Sunday in an area that was burned in the 2017 East Fork Fire. Firefighters moved resources to respond to the re-burn, the update said.

To the north, hotshot fire crews sustained progress on Sunday, protecting public use cabins and ENSTAR gas pipeline infrastructure.

Smoke and haze conditions improved over the weekend, however, smoke remains a concern.

Smoke is expected to be moderate and weather conditions should continue to be warm and dry, with light winds, the update said.

Residents concerned about the safety of their buildings should remove needles from roofs and flammable vegetation from around buildings, the update said.

“This is one of the best ways to better protect your home from fire,” the update said.

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