Hotshot crews dispatched to fight Swan Lake Fire

Swan Lake Fire as seen at 2:15 a.m. from Brown's Lake. (Photo Courtesy Mary Jo Joiner)
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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The Pioneer Peak Hotshots and Gannett Glacier Fire Crew are making their way to the 3,665-acre Swan Lake Fire north of Sterling, though managers say that the weather conditions are still favorable in keeping the fires away from populated areas.

The fire expanded slightly overnight, but the cooler temperatures Wednesday should slow its growth, according to managers.

The fire grew to 3,600 acres between Monday and Tuesday.

The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge also closed the Mystery Creek Road, East Fork Moose River and Enstar Pipeline right-of-way which are north of the Sterling Highway along the eastern edge of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

The Sterling Highway visibility warning is still in effect around Mile 68 of the highway, though Mike Smith of the Department of Environmental Conservation says that visibility there is still over 10 miles.

He said that the favorable winds and expected rain showers will make air quality advisories unlikely, though still possible.

“The one of concern was when the clouds come it that causes the smoke to stay under the cloud level,” he said.

Smith says that there are no real-time fire monitors in place, so that the DEC will make a call based on satellite imagery and visibility if they decide to issue an air quality advisory.

Smith says that that might be possible if visibility falls to under 10 miles.

Highway closure info can be found at 511.alaska.gov or by dialing 5-1-1.

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