A map of the Swan Lake Fire as of Sept. 3, 2019. (Courtesy Great Basin Incident Management Team)

A map of the Swan Lake Fire as of Sept. 3, 2019. (Courtesy Great Basin Incident Management Team)

Burn ban lifted for Kenai Peninsula

Normal highway operations have resumed without pilot cars

Evacuation statuses in Cooper Landing and Sterling have been scaled back and normal highway operations have resumed after another night of rain hit the Swan Lake Fire.

As of 7 a.m. Tuesday morning, Cooper Landing is at level 1 “READY” status instead of the level 2 “SET” status, and the Sterling neighborhoods east of Feuding Lane and east of Adkins Road are no longer in “READY” status, according to an update from the Kenai Peninsula Borough’s Office of Emergency Management. The fire showed no growth Monday night, and the latest mapping from Great Basin Incident Management Team still estimates the size at 162,179 acres.

The emergency burn closure on all state, private and municipal lands in the Kenai Peninsula Borough has been rescinded as of 8 a.m. Wednesday, according to a press release from the Alaska Department of Natural Resources.

Open debris burning and the use of burn barrels will still require a burn permit under an emergency order extending Alaska’s wildfire season through Sept. 30.

The Caribou Lake Fire remains at 904 acres and was 85% contained as of Saturday.

Firefighters will improve containment lines until the fire is 100 percent contained and continue to patrol and monitor the fire until it is out. I

t is being managed as a full suppression fire with a goal of 100% containment.

Smoke may be visible from within the interior of the fire perimeter until there is significant and repeated rain or snow.

Normal operations for the Sterling Highway have resumed without pilot cars. Construction along the highway has also resumed, so pilot cars may be present in areas of construction.

Motorists on the Sterling Highway are advised to use caution while driving, as fire-weakened trees still present a hazard. Motorists should drive with headlights on at all times and be aware of fire vehicles and personnel in the area. Skilak Lake Road remains closed.

Air quality is expected to be good across the peninsula for the next several days. Light smoke may be visible on the western part of the peninsula near the Swan Lake Fire, but this is not expected to affect air quality.

All restrictions for outdoor activities for Kenai Peninsula schools due to air quality have been removed as of Tuesday, according to an announcement from the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District.

In addition, Cooper Landing School was slated to reopen Wednesday on a normal schedule.

The latest fire information can be found at kpboem.com.

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