News Flash

Open Space & Public Lands

Posted on: December 15, 2022

Summit County, Pinebrook Master Association Share Successes of Controlled Burning Program

Pinebrook management - Don Brown PBHOA - 05

Summit County, Utah (Dec. 15, 2022) — This fall, the Pinebrook Master Association (PMA) and Pinebrook Homeowners Association (PBHOA) completed successful fuel treatments of approximately 300 burn piles across 11 acres in cooperation with the Summit County Public Lands Department, the Summit County Fire Warden, the Park City Fire District and Utah Forestry, Fire, and State Lands. Pinebrook was able to complete this work with a grant that Summit County helped secure from the Utah Watershed Restoration Initiative along with PMA and PBHOA funds, helping to make the Pinebrook area more resilient to wildfire. These efforts will continue this spring.

A majority of Summit County’s residents live amongst fire-dependent ecosystems in what is called the Wildland Urban Interface or “WUI”. Fuel treatments are intended to mimic wildland fire as if it were allowed to play a natural ecosystem services role. Fuel treatments reduce the threat of large, devastating wildfires and create more resilient landscapes and wildfire-adapted communities.

The forest management work involves the cutting of dead and dying trees, young conifers, ladder fuels, and removal of dead branches on the forest floor so that the larger and more resilient trees would be able to survive a low-intensity surface fire. Removing the undergrowth gives firefighters a better chance at keeping a fire contained and under control. The three areas burned this fall were located above the Ecker Hill Middle School ropes course, along Spring Creek in Two Mile Canyon, and above Buckboard Drive.

“Winter seasonal pile burning, under the right conditions, is just one tool in our wildfire mitigation toolbox, but it is the tool that can greatly accelerate the pace and scale of preparing our forested communities to be wildfire resilient and adapted,” Summit County Public Lands Manager Jess Kirby said. “Smoke is a result of this practice, and it will take time to allow our community to adapt to seeing, smelling, and tolerating regulated levels of smoke in our airspace for short periods of time. Pinebrook’s experience exemplifies the success that can be achieved when planning, communication, and acceptance unify. Summit County applauds the PMA and PBHOA for taking on this critical issue and is looking forward to our continued partnership.”

Additional fuel reduction treatments on 72 more acres throughout Pinebrook will occur in the fall of 2023 and through the winter months of 2024.

To stay informed during wildfire season, text SCFIREINFO to 888-777 and subscribe for emergency alerts at summitcountyalerts.org. For more information about the Pinebrook area specifically, visit pinebrookmasterassn.org/fire-safety

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