By Scottsdale Fire Department

Recent rains have greened up our desert, which will soon become dry fuel as our summer heats up. In Scottsdale, with so many homes in urban interface areas, these dangers are especially concerning.

Even with nature’s threat, it is possible to minimize the community’s risk with these types of incidents.

The following steps can be taken to protect property from a wildland fire.
• Create a 30’ foot defensible safety zone around individual homes and properties by removing flash fuels, thinning overgrown vegetation in these defensible space areas, and removing dry and dead vegetation around the home.

• Manage the vegetation fuel load by initially focusing on and removing invasive plants, especially around permanent residential structures.

• Trim the lower branches on trees, up to 4ft to 6ft from the desert floor and remove overgrown branches from the roof and patio areas of the home.

• Address and remove the accumulation of dead branches or leaves, especially near structures.

• Do not keep flammable items or allow excessive foliage to collect underneath wooden decks and other combustible overhangs.

• Keep eaves, gutters, and roofs clear of leaves and combustible debris.

• Keep a garden hose connected to exterior hose bibs and available for use.

• Be keenly aware of potential ignition sources like fireplaces, BBQ grills, improper disposal of smoking materials and fireworks.

• If you believe you see a wildfire incident, call 911 immediately while the fire is still small and before you take action yourself.

If you are a Scottsdale resident, you can schedule a free wildland safety inspection or learn how your community can become “Firewise” by calling SFD at 480-312-FIRE (3473).