Swan Lake Fire keeps growing

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The Swan Lake Fire northeast of Sterling continues to grow--but still is staying away from property and populated areas.

The Swan Lake Fire burns north of Sterling.

The fire now spreads across 8,400 acres, up from about 7,000 yesterday.

In addition to the Pioneer Peak and Gannet Glacier crews, the Division of Forestry is ordering the UAF fire crew to fight the fire. It is also ordering additional aircraft. That puts the total number of personnel currently on the fire at 67.

Crews are concentrated in the Southwest corner of the fire in order to protect the community of Sterling and were dealing with shifting winds throughout the day on Thursday.

Another concern is the Enstar Gas pipeline, which pumps gas under Turnagain Arm for customers in Anchorage. Crews were preparing the Southwest corner of the fire to protect the pipeline. Crews are laying hoses in areas that were previously cleared from a 2017 fire and established secondary camps in order to avoid traffic on the Sterling Highway.

Drivers are asked to yield to fire apparatus on the highway, and a temporary flight restriction (TFR) is still in place for the area. Smoke is visible from mileposts 65 to 75 of the Sterling Highway.

Up to date highway information can be found at 511.alaska.gov or by calling 5-1-1.

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