Community Wildfire Resilience

Wild Forest Fires

North Carolina has more WUI (Wildland Urban Interface, where houses meet forested land) designation than any of the 48 contiguous states according to research conducted by the USDA Forest Service and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It is estimated that more than 12,000,000 acres in NC fall within this category. In 2016, WNC had more wildfire acres burned (62,000) than the previous 50 years combined. Recurrent severe droughts have wildfire managers, community leaders, and residents concerned that significant wildfire risk will grow more prevalent for the Appalachian Mountains and the people who live there.

There are many ways homeowners can reduce their wildfire risk!

You can take action to become fire"wise", greatly increasing the chance that your home and community will withstand a wildfire.

Strengthen Your Community

Mountain Valleys RC&D is here to help your community build wildfire resilience -- prevention, planning, and preparedness. We offer services including:

  • Mitigation Cost-Share Program (more info)

  • Wildfire Mitigation Tool Cache

  • Providing Resources and Assistance with:

    • Home and Community Wildfire Risk Assessments (NCFS)​

    • Firewise USA® Program

    • Wildfire Mitigation

    • Live Demonstrations and Trainings

    • Evacuation Planning

Contact us for more information on how to strengthen your community to be prepared for wildfire: or 828-206-6159.

"Fire on the Land" - Prescribed Burning in WNC

Fire can be used as a land management tool to restore native landscapes. Learn how a prescribed burn is conducted, why burns are beneficial to the ecosystem, and who to contact to use this resource.


The project at Smith Farm is part of Mountain Valleys RC&D’s Shade Your Stream Program. The project is funded by US Partners for Fish & Wildlife and the NC Land & Water Fund. Project partners include the Town of Mars Hill, North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission, Bailey Mountain Friends’ Group, NC Forest Service, and Ivy River Partners. The prescribed fire at Smith Farm was paid for by Partners for Fish and Wildlife of the US Fish and Wildlife Service.



Firewise USA

Appalachian RC&D FAC Coalition

McDowell Community Wildfire Network



Resist Wildfire NC

Defensible Space

Home Hardening

Wildfire Preparedness




Contact us to see how your community can adapt to wildfire.

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The McDowell Community Wildfire Network is committed to collaborating with partners and community to increase and track wildfire mitigation activities to build wildfire resiliency in McDowell County.

This program is funded by the AIM grant program of Coalitions & Collaboratives, Inc.

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Past Newsletters:

Fall 2020

Summer 2021