Swan Lake blaze prompts fire ban in Chugach National Forest

Jul 8, 2019

Credit AK Fire Info

The Swan Lake Fire, now over 95,000 acres, continues burning northeast of Sterling, with the fire danger prompting the Chugach National Forest to issue a temporary fire prohibition order for the Kenai Peninsula area of the forest.

The east flank of the Swan Lake Fire continues to move upslope and into higher elevations along the mountain ridge line. Fire managers say the change in vegetation is expected to reduce the ability for fire to move above ground resulting in slower fire spread and lower intensity burning.

Crews are working to improve the Skyline Trail to create a fuel break along the southeast corner of the fire to prevent fire spread along the highway. Helicopters continue to utilize water drops to cool hotspots north of Upper Jean Lake.

The containment line north of the Homer Electric transmission line is holding well as small areas of interior vegetation burn.

Firefighters continue to mop up and secure fire lines along the west side of the fire. Crews are monitoring the 2017 East Fork scar where fire is clearing layers of duff and remaining dead and downed trees. Consumption of these materials will strengthen fire lines created to prevent future fire spread to the west. Smoldering will continue along the northwest edge as marshy areas limit fire spread.

Point protection of public use facilities and ENSTAR pipeline facilities to the north remain in place as fire movement is being monitored by air. Wetlands help slow fire spread and provide a natural fuel break extending beyond the man-made containment lines.

The next community Meeting will be held on Wednesday (July 10, 2019) at 6 p.m. at the Cooper Landing Elementary School.