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Swan Lake Fire stabilized by cooler, wetter weekend weather

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Alaska Division of Forestry

  The Swan Lake Fire near Sterling had minimal growth over the weekend, as cooler, wetter weather prevailed. The latest report from the state Division of Forestry says the size of the fire is estimated at 12,782 acres, an increase of only about 200 acres from Friday.

As a result, crews made progress improving the firefighting line along the southwest edge of the fire nearest Sterling and protecting natural gas infrastructure, including a "thermo-electric generator," which they surrounded with water pumps and sprinklers. A new landing zone for forestry helicopters was also prepped to ease movement of personnel and supplies.

There are now 94 firefighters on the ground, with helicopters providing water bucket drops.

The weather forecast is calling for warmer and dryer weather to return this week, with just a chance of passing rain showers over the fire area. Fire managers report the amount of rain this weekend, while helpful, was insufficient to douse the fire burning in deep forest duff.

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