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. For more information, visit

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 through 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 fire.
  • Learn more at

Prevent new fires by eliminating potential ignition sources. Do not burn leaves.


Written By

Photo of Lucy Bradley, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionDr. Lucy BradleyExtension Urban Horticulture Specialist (919) 513-2001 lucy_bradley@ncsu.eduHorticultural Science - NC State University
Page Last Updated: 3 months ago
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