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KENAI: Refuge Fights Fire with Fire
Alaska Region, August 21, 2007
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The Swan Lake Fire was started by lightning on July 29, 2007 and continues to be managed as a wildland fire use fire in Kenai National Wildlife Refuge wilderness
The Swan Lake Fire was started by lightning on July 29, 2007 and continues to be managed as a wildland fire use fire in Kenai National Wildlife Refuge wilderness - Photo Credit: n/a

Kenai National Wildlife Refuge has an active fire program to manage its nearly 2 million acres of habitat.  Wildfires are common, but the Refuge also makes use of prescribed fire (set by managers) and wildland fire (naturally ignited but managed for resource benefits).  In summer 2007 the Refuge has worked with all three fire types and is currently completing prescribed fire activities near Lily Lake and wildland fire use management actions near Swan Lake.  These fires, approximately 2,000 acres total, have been managed to reduce fuel loading and provide future fire breaks between remote Refuge areas and developed urban areas, and to benefit wildlife, such as moose and snowshoe hares which use young hardwoods for winter food.  Fire, a natural process throughout the boreal forest, removes old and dead spruce trees and allows re-growth of birch, aspen, and other hardwoods.  "Fighting fire with fire" or managing fires that reduce fuel loading can greatly reduce the futre risk of large damaging wildfires. The Swan Lake Fire, across Skilak Lake from the popular Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area, started by lightning on July 29 and continues to burn in wilderness within the parameters of the Refuge's wildland fire use plan. 


Contact Info: Kristen Gilbert, 907-786-3391, Kristen_Gilbert@fws.gov



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