PARK CITY, Utah (ABC4) – In an effort to reduce the risk of wildfires, Deer Valley Resort began “prescribed” controlled burns on Wednesday, Oct. 26 in the Flagstaff Mountain area.

The planned burns will continue throughout the next few weeks as weather conditions allow, and crews say smoke may be visible in or around the Deer Valley area during the burns but there is no need to call emergency services to report it.

The Deer Valley team said they are working in close collaboration with community partners while conditions are favorable for a controlled burn. These conditions include having over six inches of snow on the ground and an air-clearing index above 500 feet.

Park City received a healthy amount of snowfall with the recent storm that passed through Utah. Deer Valley Resort reported receiving a foot of snow when the storm hit on Oct. 23.

The burn will work to reduce the amount of natural fuels of dead trees and dry brush that can raise the potential risk of wildfires.

Deer Valley Vice President of Mountain Operations Steve Graff said the resort has used a comprehensive forest health program since the inception of the resort.

“We’re using fire as a tool to help us in our forest health program,” said Graff. “Not only do we drop dead and dying trees, but now we’re taking it a step further by burning them in the fall when it’s appropriate. The result is a healthier, safer forest ecosystem more resistant to wildfire.”

Graff recently took part in creating the Park City Wildfire Emergency Preparedness Plan, working with partners from the Park City Municipal Corporation and the Wildfire Fuels Reduction Committee. Deer Valley trail crews trained on burn pile methods continue to collaborate with these partners to help maintain the health of the forests and reduce wildfire risk in the community.

According to Deer Valley Resort, a controlled burn is the easiest and least expensive method to quickly rid a forest of large amounts of fuels. Prescribed burns are tightly monitored by crews on site as well as surrounding fire officials such as Park City Fire District, Summit County Fire Warden, and the State’s Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands.