If you live near southern Utah’s Dixie National Forest and see flames and smoke over the next couple of weeks, don’t panic.
Forest spokesman Kenton Call says chances are good you will be witnessing one of several “prescribed fires,” deliberately set blazes intended to benefit the forest — and prevent bigger wildfires.
Call said Friday that the fires, depending on weather and ground conditions, are planned for the Ahlstrom Hollow, Pretty Tree Bench, Duck Fuels Piles, Edward Springs and Henrie Knolls areas of the forest.
“These prescribed fires are designed to improve forest conditions — such as reducing unhealthy fuel densities, encouraging more diverse species, making larger trees more fire resilient, promoting aspen — and to make communities and forest resources less vulnerable . . . to future large wildfires,” Call said.
The approximate locations for the planned fires:
— Ahlstrom Hollow, 20 miles southeast of Panguitch.
— Pretty Tree Bench, four miles northwest of Boulder.
— Duck Creek Piles, the south end of Duck Creek Village.
— Edward Springs, seven miles northeast of Paragonah.
— Henrie Knolls, five miles north of Duck Creek Village.
For more information on the scheduling of the fires should call the Dixie National Forest at 435-865-3700.