Miles of unneeded hose packed out of Swan Lake Fire

Jul 23, 2019

Credit Alaska Division of Forestry

Firefighters continue to clean up controlled and burnt-out areas of the Swan Lake Fire near Sterling. About 40,000 feet, or more than seven miles, of hose has been laid on the south edge of the fire alone.

"Behind me is a bunch of the hose we used in the initial suppression efforts on the fire," said Isaiah Jimenez is a firefighter with Division Kilo of the task force. "And at this point it's you know at the time where we need to start pulling all that hose off, and basically back, haul it off and cache it so the team can come in and start picking it up and taking it back to camp."

The heavy duty hose, though now well-used, still has a lot of life left.

"They'll take it back to the nearest cache, get it all cleaned up, reroll it and get it ready for the for the next fire," Jimenez said.

Fire crews continued making progress completing fire suppression objectives with no substantial growth occurring on the fire in three days.

Helicopter landing spots around the fire area were repaired by scattering the log pad and pulling brush back over the area. Wood chippers were used to remove brush piles on secondary containment lines, to help reduce the amount of fuel load. Helicopters dropped water to cool hot spots in the Upper Jean Lake area. Crews continued to search and extinguish hot spots up to 300 feet from the containment line. The remaining portion of the fire was closely monitored by air.

Since fire growth potential remains, given the current warm and dry weather conditions, firefighters will continue to monitor hot-spots from the air and ground while mopping-up and repairing miles of fireline. The Thurman and Mystery Creek drainages will produce smoke as the fire creeps and smolders in the drainages. Smoke will be evident in Cooper Landing and along the Sterling Highway corridor again today. Interior pockets of unburned fuel may continue to burn and produce smoke until a season-ending precipitation occurs.

As fire activity decreases, some fire crews, support staff and equipment will demobilize. ###