SUMMIT PARK, Utah. — If you notice plumes of smoke this week in Summit Park, don’t worry – they’re coming from a controlled burn of slash piles within the area’s open space. The burn is scheduled to run from Monday, Dec. 14 through Friday, Dec. 18, and is being held under the direction of the Summit County Fire Warden and Alpine Forestry. Jessica Kirby, Open Space Management Supervisor for Basin Recreation, says these efforts are all part of a year-long process for increased forest health and fire mitigation.
“No one likes to see trees cut down, it’s tough.” Kirby said. “We love our forests, but we have to remember that we have to be stewards of them as well. By doing no management, it’s a type of management. By taking away that natural process, it’s something.”
This week’s management project in Summit Park is part of a year-long endeavor to take care of 180 acres of forest space with over 1,200 slash piles that will burned be over the next year. The Basin Recreation District owns about 2,300 acres of open space in Summit County and Kirby executes these Open Space Management Plans to keep tabs on forest health. According to Kirby, forest health involves opening up pockets in the earth so the understory of the land can be more robust for the wildlife, and also make way for more diversity in tree age.
“We are kind of playing ‘mechanical nature,'” Kirby said.
The Summit Park area will remain open during the controlled burn and questions are being directed to Kirby at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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