Living in Wildfire Prone Areas

Your first defense against wildfire is to create and maintain a defensible space around your home. However this does not mean your landscape has to be barren. A defensible space is an area, either man-made or natural, where the vegetation is modified to slow the rate and intensity of an advancing wildfire. It also creates an area for fire suppression operations to occur and helps protect the surrounding vegetation from being involved should a structure fire occur.
Throughout portions of the Arizona Fire & Medical Authority, it is common to see homes and other types of structures in wildland environments. This trend is creating an expansion of wildland urban interface areas where structures are located next to large amounts of vegetation. Because of their location, these structures are extremely vulnerable to fire, should a wildfire occur in the surrounding area.
The following links/tips provide Authority property owners with resources available to those homeowners in the wildland urban interface areas to learn about keeping your property safe.
Top Tips for Wildland Fire Prevention
  • Consistently monitor defensible space for maximum fire prevention.
  • Remove flash fuels such as dead grass.
  • Trim trees within the 30-ft defensible space so the canopy is not touching the ground; remove any dead branches or leaves.
  • Trim grass and foliage around trees.
  • Keep gutters, eaves and roof clear of leaves and other debris.
  • Do not stack wood or other flammable materials within the 30-ft defensible space.
  • Keep a rolled up garden hose with a nozzle attached to an outside hose valve connection.
What to do if a fire breaks out?
  • Wildland fires burn rapidly and winds often make them unpredictable. So, be very cautious when attempting to control a brush fire with a garden hose. Call 9-1-1 for assistance every time.
  • Report brush fires immediately by dialing 911. Never assume someone else will make the call.
  • Back your car into the garage or park it in an open space facing the direction of escape. Shut doors and roll up windows. Leave keys in ignition. Close garage doors/windows. Disconnect automatic garage openers.
  • Confine pets to one room. Make plans to care for pets in case you must evacuate.
  • Follow instructions of emergency personnel. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • Wear protective clothing, sturdy shoes, cotton or wool clothing, long pants, long sleeved shirt, gloves and handkerchiefs to protect your face.
  • Lock your home. Tell someone when you left and where you're going. Choose a route away from fire hazard. Watch for changes in fire's speed and direction.
Building Contractor Alert
  • Be vigilant! Keep construction sites safe and free of combustible materials.
  • Limit welding & cutting to cleared areas
  • Remove all flammable products & flash fuels
  • Maintain the building envelope as a "clear zone" and thin an additional 30-ft to provide adequate defensible space
  • Do not stack wood or other flammable construction materials in defensible space.
  • Contractors found negligent in maintaining a safe building environment can be held responsible for damages via fines and/or criminal citations for the cost of providing fire protection services and for property loss.

Dial 9-1-1

For All Emergencies
Official website for the Arizona Fire & Medical Authority, the Buckeye Valley Fire District, the North County Fire & Medical District, and the South County Fire & Medical District.
Phone: (623) 544-5400 | Email:
18818 N. Spanish Garden Drive, Sun City West, Arizona 85375