A plume of smoke rises from the Swan Lake fire area as vehicles head south on the Sterling Highway on July 18, 2019, near Skilak Lake, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

A plume of smoke rises from the Swan Lake fire area as vehicles head south on the Sterling Highway on July 18, 2019, near Skilak Lake, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Swan Lake Fire growth stalls, crews near containment goals

The fire is approximately 102,027 acres.

After three days of no substantial growth on the Swan Lake Fire, fire crews completed 72% of their containment objectives Monday.

Crews spent the day Sunday removing hoses and water pumps along the containment line in areas where there is a reduced threat of the fire spread, according to the latest update from the Eastern Area Incident Management Team. Helispots were repaired by scattering the log pad and pulling brush back over the area, and wood chippers were used to remove brush piles along secondary containment lines. Helicopters dropped water along hot spots in the Upper Jean Lake Area while crews continued to search for and extinguish hot spots up to 300 feet from the containment line. The remaining portion of the fire continues to be monitored closely by air.

Although the fire experienced little growth over the past few days, hot and dry weather conditions leave the potential for some continued growth on the table. The Thurman and Mystery Creek drainages will produce smoke as the fire smolders, and 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. The fire is approximately 102,027 acres in size and is staffed by 341 personnel. The fire is burning about 5.5 miles east of Sterling in an area of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge that has not seen a fire since 1947.

A community meeting regarding the fire and smoke conditions will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday at Cooper Landing Elementary School. For more information regarding the fire or the community meeting, contact the incident management team at 208-391-3488.

Open fires, including campfires, are prohibited on federal lands including the Kenai National Wildlife and the Chugach National Forest, and portions of the Refuge and Chugach remained closed due to fire and smoke conditions. Current closures can be found at http://kenai.fws.gov or http://www.fs.esda.gov/news/chugach/news-events. Campfires are permitted on state, municipal and private lands.

A temporary flight restriction (TFR) remains in effect for the area, and pilots can confirm current flight restrictions at https://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_9_0573.html.

A plume of smoke rises from the Swan Lake fire area as vehicles head south on the Sterling Highway on July 18, 2019, near Skilak Lake, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

A plume of smoke rises from the Swan Lake fire area as vehicles head south on the Sterling Highway on July 18, 2019, near Skilak Lake, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

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