Rural property owners generally pay lower taxes than city people for the logical reason that they derive fewer municipal services. That's a fair trade, isn't it? Among services NOT available to many on-road, (and certainly not for off-road) properties is subsidized fire protection. This has implications not only for structural preservation but also for insurance. Be sure to inquire about both before you buy or rent that attractive remote property! Then, plan to take charge of your own fire safety.
To help, most counties, boroughs, and parishes in the country have a Division of Emergency Services with useful information pertinent to hazards in that particular region. Some of the following suggestions are derived from the “Wildfire Mitigation Program” of my borough in Alaska. In addition, local fire departments are terrific resources. A local volunteer fireman actually helped construct some of our early buildings and alerted us to many of the elements described below. A few years later, in exchange for a hot meal, my husband flew a local fire chief out to assess the success of our fire mitigation efforts and any neglected hazards. He even helped us chop down a huge dry and dying tree! A great resource is Firewise.
Whether your property has existing buildings or you will build from scratch, plan to assess fire hazards and find ways to reduce them through prudent use of: (a) firebreaks and landscaping, b) hardscape, (c) flammable debris removal or storage, (d) well marked and accessible roads and driveways (if on the road system), (e) well positioned fire suppression systems (f) primary and secondary methods to report the emergency, and, finally (g) exit plans and provisions.
Examples of each below:
a) Firebreaks and Landscape: The recommended width of a fire break is at least 30 feet around buildings. (This is referred to as "defensible space zone 1") (However, since fire rises, buildings on a steep slope need to triple that distance below the structures). I have first hand knowledge of the reason. This summer, the area of Willow, Alaska suffered a wildfire of several thousand acres. Scores of buildings and vehicles were damaged. About 2,000 people were evacuated. As we fly low over that area on a regular basis, and then drive among its roads, we see clear evidence where the fire had “jumped” narrow roads and driveways but had not crossed broad cul de sacs, parking lots, or grass air strips. The clearing around your buildings does not have to be paved or graveled – it can have landscaping - but those plantings should be intelligently selected and well maintained.