Take action to Mitigate your Wildfire Risk!
mit·i·gate /ˈmidəˌɡāt/ verb : make less severe, serious, or painful
Now that you have taken the first step, Identify Your Risk, you are prepared for the next step, Mitigate Your Risk.
Most wildfire risk can be reduced by performing simple tasks around your property:
The main idea is to reduce hazardous fuels surrounding your house so that if a wildfire is nearby your house will be protected from ignition. If you've tackled fuel removal around your home this year, think about other ways you can prepare for an emergency such as assembling an emergency supply kit and developing an evacuation plan. Contact your HOA or form a neighborhood committee to improve regulations such as landscaping, home design, and building material use.
Check out NFPA's Wildfire Preparedness tips here for more actions items to build wildfire resilience in your community: before, during, and after a fire.
Clear off pine needles, dead leaves, and anything else that can burn
from your rooflines, gutters, decks, porches, patios, and along fence lines.
Rake out any landscaping mulch or dead vegetation to at least 5 feet away from your home and from underneath your deck.
Trim back any shrubs or tree branches that come closer than 5 feet to your house, in addition to any overhanging branches. Prune branches of large trees to 6-10 feet above the ground to reduce ladder fuels.
Above is a before and after photo slide, showing mitigation work we had done around a home in northern McDowell in August 2020. Our goal was to create a 30 foot buffer of "defensible space" around the house. This required thinning out brush and debris, and pruning branches of large trees to 6-10 feet above the ground. In the end, the homeowner was happy to be able to see wildlife in the surrounding woods again.
The McDowell Community Wildfire Network has mitigation tools for communities to use - for free!
Learn more and request a rental here.
Cost-Share Assistance for Mitigation work
wildfire Mitigation resources
North Carolina Forest Service
**applications for winter 2021 accepted beginning mid-Oct.
Southeast Wildfire Retrofit Guide