Kenai Lake Fire Update: Thursday, June 28



Kenai Lake Fire Update

June 28, 2001

Location: The fire is located west of the Seward Highway, approximately 4.5 miles south of Moose Pass, along the north shore of Kenai Lake.

How the Fire Started: The Forest Service ignited a prescribed burn on June 15, 2001. Over a period of 10 days a national type I fire crew, with helicopter support, worked on construction and maintenance of a fire line on the east flank of the prescribed fire area. Approximately 1250 acres were burned on June 15, 2001. On June 25, 2001, during a sustained, strong westerly wind, an ember was apparently blown from the interior of the prescribed fire area across the fire line on the east flank of the fire. After midnight on June 26, 2001, the prescribed burn was declared a wildfire because of the forecast of continued hot dry conditions and a lack of fire fighting resources locally.

How large is the fire? The combined wildlife and prescribed burn as of June 27, 2001, is 2,700 acres.

What fire fighting resources are on the fire? A national incident management team assumed the job of IAP suppressing the fire at 7:00 AM on June 27, 2001. A total of 200 personnel are working on the fire including nine 20-person hand crews. Equipment includes two bulldozer and three helicopters doing aerial reconnaissance and water drops.

Fire Suppression Strategy: Fire suppression efforts are concentrating on protecting life and property, particularly residences and structures in the vicinity of the fire, the Trail River Campground, bridges, and power lines. Crews made good progress building a fire line on the eastern flank of the fire from the Trail River Campground northward. Helicopter water drops and heavy equipment helped the crews build and secure the fire line. Continued dry conditions and heavy down and dead fuels are hampering the suppression effort. No structures have burned. No injuries have been reported.

Evacuation Status: At 5:15 pm on June 27, 2001, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management issued an evacuation advisory to residents living between Falls Creek and the Forest Service Work Center at Kenai Lake. An evacuation center was established at the Seward Middle/High School. The evacuation advisory was lifted at 11:00 PM, June 27, 2001, and the evacuation center was closed. No residents utilized the center during its brief period of operation.

Public Concern: Media attention has been substantial with radio, television and newspaper coverage throughout the fire. Public inquiries requesting the fire information have been extensive at the fire and at the Anchorage fire Information Center.

For more information please contact: Chugach National Forest supervisor's Office - 271-2503.