Crews continue containment work on Kenai Peninsula fires

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. But in this case, smoke from the Card Street Fire on Tuesday was from an intentional burn, one meant to prevent the fire from coming any closer to recreational facilities in the Skilak Lake area.

Firefighters planned a burnout operation on the southeast corner of the fire Tuesday, in the vicinity of the Skilak Lake boat ramp. The goal was to ignite about 2,000 acres of unburned spruce to strengthen the fire line in the area.

The fire is estimated at 7,352 acres, or 11.5 square miles, and is about 25 percent contained. Crews continue to construct and strengthen fire lines around the perimeter and are working to put out any hot spots found within 300 feet of structures. The west end of Skilak Lake Loop Road to Engineer Lake remains closed. There are 451 personnel still fighting the fire, including 16 fire crews, eight fire engines and three helicopters.

The Stetson Creek Fire south of the Sterling Highway near Cooper Landing held at just over 200 acres Tuesday, with crews getting to about 60 percent containment. Crews are in mop-up mode, focusing along Copper Creek at the existing containment line to the north and south.

Across the highway, the Juneau Lake Fire was 573 acres Tuesday and about 40 percent contained. Over 100 personnel are still working those two fires, including helicopter support. Conditions are expected to be sunnier and drier today and the rest of the week, with humidity 10 to 15 percent lower today than Tuesday.

Residents with damaged homes, essential personal property and transportation losses from the Card Street Fire might be eligible for help from the State Disaster Individual Assistance program. Registration for the program began Tuesday and continues through Aug. 18. There’s a hotline set up to apply, at 855-445-7131, or go online toready.alaska.gov.

Description of damages, insurance information, proof of ownership and the like are required. Be sure to take pictures of any damages before cleaning up, and keep receipts from any costs incurred.