Get Healthy: Do your part to reduce Carson City’s risks of fire

The landscape has seen very little precipitation this winter. Although rain is in the forecast for this week, we still are in the midst of a drought, so the risk of fires is increased across the region. You can do your part to protect our community from fires by creating defensible space, following rules about burning and having a plan in case fire does threaten Carson City.

Defensible space is the area around a home where the vegetation has been managed in a way that helps protect it from fires and helps give firefighters the upper hand if they need to protect your home. How much defensible space you need depends on a number of factors, such as whether your house sits on a hill. Homeowners can create defensible space by removing dead trees and shrubs and thinning out remaining vegetation so there is less fuel to feed a fire. Make sure the area around your house is “Lean, Clean and Green.” The Carson City Fire Department will even bring a trash bin to your property that you can use to dispose of plant material at no charge.

Open burning is not allowed in Carson City unless you have a permit, which can be obtained by calling the Fire Department. After you have a permit, there are important rules you must follow:

Burn only between the hours of 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Cease burning if wind is above 5 mph.

Burn pile must be no more than 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet high.

Burn pile must be 25 feet away from any structure or other combustibles.

A garden hose or other approved extinguishing equipment must be on site and available at all times.

Fire must be attended by an adult at all times.

Burn yard waste only (e.g., weeds, limbs, leaves, etc.).

If you do decide to have a fire, make sure it is completely extinguished before you leave. Fires can re-ignite and spread.

Prevent fire by being cautious. For example, do not throw cigarettes out where they could start a fire. Make sure you dispose of fireplace ashes in a sealed metal container. Do not throw them out where they could blow away and ignite dry brush around your home, or indoors where they could smolder and start a fire in your home.

Discuss an evacuation plan with your family so everyone knows where to go in case your home is threatened by fire. Make a kit that you can take with you in case you have to go to a hotel or evacuation shelter. Information on what you should include in an emergency kit can be found at

Additional information for homeowners is available from the Living with Fire website, For more information about other Health Department services, check out our website at or visit us at


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