Taking advantage of cool spring weather, Forest Service fire crews are planning a prescribed burn in The Pines area northwest of Emery.
The crews, from the Ferron-Price District of the Manti-La Sal National Forest, expect to burn understory fuels on 3,155 acres sometime in late May in an effort to reduce the probability of wildfires. Fuel moisture will determine the exact date of the burn.
Smoke may be visible as far north as Castle Dale, Utah and as far south as I-70. The Forest Service asks the public not to report smoke from the fire.
The Forest Service successfully implemented a prescribed burn near the area during 2007. "It is time to implement the burn again with the same weather and fuels moisture," said Brandon Hoffman, fire management officer for the north zone of the forest.
Generally, fire has been excluded from The Pines since 2004, when a managed fire burned 120 acres. Ponderosa pine, stunted aspen and shrubs grow in The Pines project area. The planned fire will restore the role of fire in the ponderosa pine and aspen stands by underburning by hand.
Treatments such as thinning and prescribed fires have been proven to be effective in changing fire behavior and have helped control hundreds of wildfires. Uncharacteristic wildfires pose risks to lives, property, and resources that people need and value, such as clean abundant water; clean air; fish and wildlife habitat; open space for recreation; and other forest products and services.