SWAN VALLEY, Idaho (KLIX) – It’s not just summer, it is fire season. Thankfully this blaze is a controlled burn, but the smoke may be visible for some time to come.

The Palisades Ranger District on the Caribou-Targhee National Forest will conduct prescribed fire operations this Thursday, Aug. 22, in the Fall Creek Basin near Commissary and Fourth of July Ridges.

The burn is expected to go into the weekend, so if you have plans to travel into the forest or surrounding area, just a heads up. Fire officials urge forest visitors to stay informed and use caution if recreating in the vicinity of the prescribed burn.

They said the purpose of these fire operations is to improve wildlife habitat by promoting Aspen regeneration. In essence, they are doing something that Mother Nature usually does, but this way the fire can be watched and controlled so it doesn’t spread.

Several other agencies and organizations will be involved in the project, according to fire officials, including the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

Don’t be alarmed if you see smoke in the area even after the weekend. That is to be expected. Fire officials say smoke may be visible in the area from Swan Valley in eastern Idaho as well as Alpine, Wyo., and that residual smoke may be seen in the area for several weeks.

For more information, contact the Palisades Ranger District at 208-523-1412.