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NC State Extension

Preventing Fire Damage

Image by John McColgan

Image by John McColgan CC-BY-NC

Not all fire is bad. Prescribed burning is a land treatment, used under controlled conditions, to accomplish natural resource management objectives. It is a safe way to apply a natural process, ensure ecosystem health, and reduce wildfire risk. Its use reduces the potential for destructive wildfires and thus maintains long-term air quality.

Plan ahead. Before a wildfire threatens your area…

  • Image by USDA

    Image by USDA CC-BY

    Create a defensible space in the area within 200 feet of your home by reducing the amount of flammable vegetation and material and increasing the water content of what remains.

  • Remove leaves from gutters, eaves, porches, and decks.
  • Clear away dead plant material within 10 feet of the house.
  • Remove branches that are 10 feet or less from the ground.
  • Keep your lawn well-watered and in good health. If it is brown, mow it close to the ground to reduce fuel for wildfire.
  • Dispose of debris and lawn cuttings quickly to reduce fuel for a fire.
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Prevent new fires by eliminating potential ignition sources. Do not burn leaves.