Four wildfires of varying size burned throughout the Kenai Peninsula this week, though there’s no danger at this point to anyone living or recreating in the region, a forestry official said.
Meanwhile in Anchorage, residents were seeing smoke from the largest of those fires filter in starting Friday evening and continuing into Saturday. The Swan Lake Fire in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge northeast of Sterling grew from 200 acres Thursday to more than 470 acres by Friday evening, according to Beth Ipsen, a spokeswoman for the Alaska Fire Service.
Smoke from that fire drifted into the Anchorage area over the weekend. The Anchorage Fire Department is advising people not to call 911 unless they see an active fire or smoke. (Smoke predictions around the state can be found at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Wildfire Smoke Prediction site.)
Thunderstorms over the Kenai Peninsula earlier this week ignited more lightning-caused wildfires in three days than the region normally sees in a year.
However, none were close enough to roads or population centers to put anyone in danger, including people driving down to the peninsula for recreation over the weekend, said Howie Kent, fire management officer for the state Division of Forestry Kenai Peninsula region.