August 18, 2021

Fire Season and Restoration

Written by
Fire Season and Restoration Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

As climate change intensifies, so do natural disasters such as wildfires. Recent fires like those surrounding Utah have burned longer and hotter than usual. The recent Parleys Canyon Fire here in Utah hit closer to home than the national fires we have been surrounded by, Park City Fire District crews and other fire personnel were deployed to neighborhood to protect structures in Summit Park over the canyon crestline. One of the things that draws people to live in Summit Park is its mountainous seclusion of forested hillside, this vegitation close to motorized highways create an unfortunate threat. 

While a real threat to structures, wildfire season in recent years have destroyed millions of trees. Many areas have been burned so severely that natural regeneration is not possible, making replanting necessary. Restoration is a long-term process, from assessing damage to growing seedlings to planting them over the course of many years, 

TreeUtah is committed to restoring and preserving healthy ecosystems along Utah’s urbanized Wasatch Front. Native trees are important habitat for the wildlife and will ensure these animals can continue to thrive here. Planting young native trees will also limit the impact invasive species can have on this critical habitat area. The canyons of the Wasatch Mountains are the main source of water and recreation for hundreds of thousands of people in Salt Lake County. They are also a critical habitat on the edge of the Great Salt Lake Desert for many species of wildlife. The ecosystems of this vital mountain range are under pressure from the expanding population of the Wasatch Front. In addition to continued support of state and federal forest restoration efforts, TreeUtah pledges commitment to restoring critical community landscapes and natural forestlands devastated by wildfire. 

You can help protect your home and stop the spread of wildland fires by following these eight steps. “Remember – Only you can prevent forest fires,” is a critical message. While some wildfires start from lightning strikes and other natural causes, a majority are due to human activity such as the Parleys Canyon fire with a cars faulty catalytic converter.