(ABC4) – Seeing a fire can be a concerning site but sometimes these fires are set on purpose. Controlled or prescribed fires are fires that are set purposely for forest management, farming or restoration.

Deputy Director Jason Curry at Utah Division of Forestry, Fire & State Lands spoke with ABC4 about controlled fires in Utah. “We usually do controlled fires in order to eliminate the amount of fuel that would start a wildfire during the hotter months.”

The benefits of a controlled fire mean you can choose the weather conditions. Wildfires usually occur on hot, windy days which can cause the fire to spread quickly.

“Controlled fires are usually done in the spring and fall when the weather is damper and cooler,” Said, Curry.

Controlled fires usually end up on the news when they become out of control. Curry remarked on this saying “It can happen, but it’s very rare.”

This is true. According to the Federal Land Management, approximately 99% of controlled fires remain contained and are considered successful.

How exactly is a controlled fire contained? Curry explained that different resources can be used such as breaks in vegetation, roads, rivers, and surprisingly aspen trees which have very low flammability.

Currently there is an ongoing controlled fire in central Utah with others being conducted by federal agencies to prepare for the hotter months.