Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Last updated on June 26th, 2019 at 06:03 amNoon Update: Plan for Significant Travel Delays on Tuesday on the Sterling Highway between MP 58 to 75. Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead, top off gas tanks, bring extra ice for fish, food and snacks, and be prepared for long travel delays as crews battle the 37,430 acre Swan Lake Fire. Continued updates throughout Tuesday will be posted to this article. Hot and dry weather with shifting and variable winds are expected for the next several days. Motorists are advised to use caution on the highway as smoky conditions reduce visibility. Drive carefully, use headlights, and give the right-of-way to any fire traffic in the area. This is a dynamic situation that can change rapidly. Allow extra time to reach your destination and all highway travelers are encouraged to be prepared for delays. Along the southwestern edge of the fire, crews strengthened existing containment lines and secured the width of the line to 100 ft and continued with mop-up. Crews were repositioned to Watson Lake Campground to put indirect line along the East Fork Moose River, utilizing natural features to establish line to create a toehold for firefighters to continue to protect values in Sterling. The Kenai Wildlife Refuge closed recreation areas to allow for public safety and efficient fire operation along the Sterling Highway as we enter a week of hot and dry conditions. Casey: “Today is a burn day, and it’s going to cause delays for sure. Motorists need to plan ahead and expect to see flaggers and pilot cars.” Kale Casey with the State Division of Forestry: “It’s a big day! We’ve brought in crews and equipment from JBER (Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson) and engines. The goal today is to establish a fireline north of the Homer Transmission line, all the way from MP 62-72 all along Sterling.” Casey: “If you drive down the Sterling Highway towards Cooper Landing it will become super smoky which will be the new normal for the next several days.” On the southwestern perimeter of the fire, crews strengthened existing containment lines on the southern edges of the fire to prevent spread toward the community of Sterling. These control lines continue to halt fire spread to the west, containment is currently at 8%.Casey: “Fire crews are monitoring fire behavior and weather forecasts to minimize the disruption of traffic from smoke impacts along the Sterling Highway. Aerial resources and ground support will support efforts to secure the fire’s edge.” Fire crews are set to take advantage of a significant wind shift today and will initiate a strategic burn north of the Homer-Electric transmission line north of the Sterling Highway between mileposts 58 to 75. The Swan Lake Fire is estimated to be 2 miles from the Sterling Highway near Sterling.Kale Casey with the State Division of Forestry: “The questions you might have are; how is the fire going to affect the highway and is it going to reached it? It has not reached the highway; it would take another day or so for the fire to progress towards the highway. The winds have changed and are out of the south now and blowing towards the north and are backing from the highway.” Original Post: Firefighting efforts intensified on Monday as the Swan Lake Fire was steadily pushed by a north-northwest wind to the south and east closer to the Sterling Highway. The fire is estimated at 37,354 acres with 390 crew members. Despite aggressive air support, the fire moved south in the Mystery Creek Road area by mid-afternoon and in some cases crossed established containment lines. The fire remains to be estimated at two miles from the Sterling Highway. In a release from the Division of Forestry, fire crews are implementing plans to protect these corridors and alternative control lines are being evaluated and improved. For Kenai Borough emergency information, contact the Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management call center at 907-262-INFO (4636) between 8am and 8pm or contact the Refuge Visitor Center at 907-260-2820 or online at kenai.fws.gov.