Fire Information

The size and geographic diversity of the Chugach National Forest allow many different levels of Fire Danger. There are over five million acres of forest.

The level listed on the front page of this website indicates the highest level across the forest. For more specific information, use the links provided on this page. 


District divisions for fire page

Fire Danger by District
Eastern Kenai Peninsula Prince William Sound Copper River Delta
Moderate Moderate Moderate

Current Updates

Federal agencies, tribal, state and local partners stand together, ready to respond to wildfire during the 2020 fire year. We may adjust how we fight fire in response to current conditions but will not alter our commitment to protect the American people and our lands. Preventing the spread of COVID-19 among our first responders and communities is an important addition to our focus on safety this year.

As we continue through the fire year, we are constantly assessing fire conditions and risk factors, including COVID-19 that may impact our ability to respond to wildfires. In some cases fire restrictions may be implemented to reduce the likelihood of human-caused fires.

The most important thing members of the public can do to help during the 2020 fire year is to do their part to prevent human-caused fires.  Wildland fire agencies may implement fire restrictions earlier than usual this year to reduce the number of human-caused fires and reduce firefighter exposure during the current pandemic.

Criteria for determining when an area should be placed under fire restriction is determined locally with the input of partnering agencies and communities. Criteria that guides decisions include:  Fire danger, preparedness levels and local risk factors. These difficult decisions are not taken lightly. Implementing fire restrictions or associated closures is a particularly difficult decision, and based on established local criteria, agencies will seek to lift restrictions and reopen at the earliest opportunity.

Past Updates


Swan Lake Fire

In the summer of 2019, more than 4,000 lightning strikes were recorded across Alaska on June 5, with 200 of those lightning strikes on the Kenai Peninsula. The Swan Lake Fire was started by a lightning strike on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. The Swan Lake Fire crossed refuge boundaries to the east into the Kenai Mountains onto National Forest System lands of the Chugach National Forest. The total fire area was just over 96,000 acres. Wildfire on the landscape predates the arrival of people to the boreal forest. Fires have occurred in the past, and they will happen again in the future.

This Swan Lake Story Map helps explain what happened during the summer of 2019.


Swan Lake Fire: Please use caution when hiking and recreating in the burned areas of the Forest. While efforts have been made to remove trees of concern and clear the trail and cabin areas, hazards within the burned area may include fire-weakened standing trees which can fall without warning and deep ash pits holding residual heat capable of causing severe burns.

The estimated containment (when the fire is fully contained) date for the Swan Lake Fire is December 31, 2019 due to the deep pockets of duff and heavy fuels that will continue to smolder in some locations for several weeks and possibly months. Smoke may be visible from within the interior of the fire perimeter until there is significant precipitation. Both the USDA Forest Service and the US Fish and Wildlife Service both deployed Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Teams to assess the potential post-wildfire hazards. Following a fire, the first priority is emergency stabilization in order to prevent further damage to life, property or natural resources on public lands.

For more information about the Swan Lake Fire visit: and for information regarding the Swan Lake Fire openings and closings please visit the Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management webpage located at 

Link to applicable news release.

Past Actions

Chugach National Forest Plans Pile Burns

Fire management personnel from the Chugach National Forest will begin prescribed fire implementation on forest lands near Hope, Granite Creek Campground, and Moose Pass.

These pile burn operations will begin mid-November and may last through the winter. Pile burning completes hazardous fuels treatment objectives by removing piled slash.

  • Smoke is expected to be visible from the following locations:
  • Seward Highway near Granite Creek Campground (Mile 63-64) to the intersection of Hope Highway
  • South of Hope along Palmer Creek Road
  • Anchorage residents or surrounding areas may also see smoke rising from Hope.
  • Residual smoke may be visible during morning and evening hours in the vicinity of the Seward Highway.

Follow @ChugachForestAK for information regarding this prescribed fire project. 

For more information, please contact the Seward Ranger District at 907-288-3178.

Download a poster in PDF format of this information, including related maps, by clicking here.

Wildfire Updates

The Alaska Interagency Coordination Center provides current fire information and maps.

News Releases

Area Impacted by Swan Lake Fire reopens.

Planned Pile Burns

Archived News releases

Emergency Orders and Alerts

  • There are no alerts at this time.

While we appreciate the public asking about donations to firefighters, the best way to support them is to stay clear of the fire area (they need to focus on the fire), take cautions to prevent fires, and visit Wildland Firefighter Foundation for more information about helping firefighters.

Be Responsible with Campfires and Open Flame

Unwanted human caused fires pose the most direct, but preventable, risk to public safety.  Always use caution.

Remember: You are responsible for the fires you start. Follow these guidelines to extinguish your fire completely:

Follow these guidelines to keep your fire from going WILD!

  • Extinguish Fires completely
  • Allow the wood to burn completely to ash is possible
  • Pour lots of water on the fire, drown ALL embers
  • Pour till hissing sound stops
  • Stir the ashes and embers with a shovel
  • Scrape any remaining  logs to remove embers
  • Make sure everything is cold to the touch
  • If you do not have water, use dirt or sand by mixing in with embers

If it’s too hot to touch, It’s too hot to leave!

Do not bury the fire as it will continue to smolder and could catch roots on fire that will eventually get to the surface and start a wildfire.

To report a wildland fire in Alaska call 1-800-237-3633