Second Central Peninsula fire flares briefly

Jul 1, 2019

Progression of the Swan Lake Fire as it has grown.
Credit Alaska Wildland Fire Information

    A second fire in the Central Kenai Peninsula flared to life Sunday afternoon.
    The Killey Fire, the 413th of the season in Alaska, was spotted by firefighting personnel in a spotter plane, directing water-bombers fighting the Swan Lake Fire.
    A Division of Forestry helicopter attack crew with four firefighters responded, with three others reaching the are on four-wheelers.
    Two helicopters dropped water on the Killey Fire, including one diverted from the Swan Lake Fire, until it was sent back when winds there picked up and increased activity.
    Firefighters at the Killey Fire reported the fire was burning in deep duff, but they eventually doused it before dark.

    Meanwhile, management of the Swan Lake Fire will be changing out as it has been burning almost a month now. The hottest and driest weekend of the summer so far reportedly tested the fire containment lines and remained active, burning in stands of black spruce as it spreads north east.
    Fire activity increased Sunday in the muskeg in the northwest of the fire, forcing firefighters to move resources to respond to the flare up.
    Hotshot fire crews, the most experienced, kept up progress protecting public use cabins and ENSTAR natural gas pipeline infrastructure.
    While traffic was snarled for most of last week due to fire crews in the southbound lane and thick smoke and fog, traffic on the Sterling Highway reportedly moved well, hindered only by the resumption of road construction.
    Warming weather and temperatures approaching 80 are forecast this week.