Wildland FirefightingFire officials teamed up with the McDowell Sonoran Preserve Commission and the city's Planning Department to evaluate, address and educate the public about wildland interface issues involving Scottsdale. New invasive plant guidelines were developed and combined with updated Natural Area Open Space (NAOS) defensible space requirements to provide for increased community fire safety, while recognizing and respecting our local environmental ordinances. These local guidelines have established Scottsdale as a leader with Marciopa County's initiative to develop a countywide program to address wildland interface issues.
To further prepare for the heightened wildfire risk during hot, dry summer months, Scottsdale Fire Department belongs to the Central Arizona Wildland Response Team (CAWRT), a consortium of central Arizona fire agencies who respond to assist at significant wild land fire incidents. These events often threaten lives, communities, natural resources, power and water infrastructure, and can impact local and state economies. An annual training drill is held to promote the safe and efficient operation of fire personnel at state and national incidents.
Why is there potential for wildfires in the desert?
Rainfall enjoyed during the winter months creates lush vegetation, which dries out in the hot, desert climate in the spring and summer. This dried vegetation creates a higher potential for brush fires that can threaten your home and property. The brush-fire season typically starts around mid-April and continues until September.
Wildfires are not limited to remote desert areas; they also occur inside city limits, and in areas called “urban interface” zones. These are areas where homes are built into the natural desert environment.
Residents and businesses are encouraged to do their part to help reduce the risk of a brush fire by following these simple tips:
- Create a 30-foot, fire-safety zone around your home and other structures; this zone should be an area free of dried or dead grass and vegetation
- Trim your trees and remove any dead branches or leaves
- Keep your gutters, eaves and roof clear of leaves and other debris
- Keep a rolled-up garden hose with a nozzle attached to outside hose valve connections
- Properly dispose of cigarettes and smoking materials
- When camping, follow local agency rules for campfires; do not build a fire without making sure open fires are allowed, and always follow fire-safety information
- Add a spark arrester to off-road vehicles and other small internal combustion engines, such as generators
- For current fire restrictions, go to www.azstatefire.org or call (877) 864-6985.
For more information, visit our Wildland Fire Prevention page.