Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ's

What is a Firewise Community?

Firewise communities are those that have taken appropriate measures to become more resistant to wildfire structural damage.

How can I learn more about Firewise? 

Desert Mountain Community has a tab on their website.  Additionally, there is the National Fire Protection Association website for more information on what a Firewise house looks like: Firewise USA®

For local fire prevention information, please see this website:

 City of Scottsdale - Wildland Fire Prevention (scottsdaleaz.gov)

When will my village be expected to be Firewise?

To see the proposed schedule - Implementation Schedule. The Schedule was designed to assist the community and City of Scottsdale Departments in managing the project.  Given Desert Mountains’ size, this is a very large project.  It does not prohibit you from starting early.  Each village will be sent an e-mail as a reminder that it is their month to begin the certification process.  At that time a notice/poster will appear on your village bulletin board.  It will be updated monthly showing your specific village progress.

How will I know when my village is scheduled to start the Firewise project? 

Schedules will be posted on your Village bulletin board and an e-blast will be sent out to homeowners the month that you’re scheduled.  Questions may be sent to firewise@desertmthoa.com  Progress charts will be added to the bulletin boards so you can see your village progress towards goal and certification. This will be updated on a monthly basis.

Will I save money on my homeowner’s insurance being a Firewise community?

Check with your insurance company to see if they offer an incentive.

How will the program be monitored?

Firewise communities must be recertified every 2 years. This will be a coordinated effort between the community and the Scottsdale Fire Department. 

Does my home have to be Firewise certified in order for me to sell it? 

No. It would however be a selling feature.

I have a wash on my property. How do I make it Firewise?

Contact the Fire Department at fireshiftcrrCaptain@scottsdaleaz.gov so they can discuss your concerns and the wash with you, and if needed, bring in another resource for consultation. This is more for steep washes, to avoid erosion issues.

What if my village is scheduled to start Firewise project during months we do not live in our home?  

You can start the project when you return in the fall.  If you have time prior to leaving, contact your landscape company or one of the Firewise landscape companies listed and see if they can do it while you are gone.  Once they complete the work submit your abatement form for review.

Will the Desert Mountain Community (HOA) be participating in the Firewise project? 

Yes. Removing invasive plants on common tracts within villages and the easement along both sides of the roadways.                  

Will Desert Mountain Club be participating in the Firewise project?

The club and the golf course are considered commercial property and will be participating in a separate certification program.        

What if I want to prepare my property myself, how will I dispose of the clippings? 

City of Scottsdale Bulk trash schedule may be found at, https://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/solid-waste/brush-bulk-collection  and can schedule a pickup by visiting the City of Scottsdale Desert Mountain bulk trash website found  here

Your landscape company includes removal in the cost of their work. 

 READY FOR CERTIFICATION:

Once our village is ready for inspection, how long does it take to be certified? 

Staff will be tracking the abatement form you send in to firewise@desertmthoa.com. When your village reaches a certain percentage we submit a check list to Scottsdale Fire Department.  It is anticipated that they can do the first village inspection within two to three weeks. When the village reaches 100% they will perform a second inspection of the village for certification. 

Will vacant lots be part of the Firewise project? 

Yes. For each village to obtain certification, each lot (vacant or with a home) must participate and submit an abatement form to: Firewise@desertmthoa.com 

 I have a vacant lot what do I have to do for inspection?

Vacant lots do not have defensible space around a structure.  However, they must comply so the entire village can be certified.   Vacant lots should remove invasive plants and raise canopies of trees.  Do not de-veg the lot and do not remove dead items. Dead items may be habitat protection for wildlife.

 LANDSCAPERS:

What landscaping do I need to do to make my house Firewise certified?

Clear a 5 foot path around the home so firefighters have access to area around the home. Trim all trees so they are not touching your home. Within 20 feet of your home, raise tree canopy up to a five foot height. Within 20 feet of your home, remove all dead plants. If plants are close together, trim them to create space between them. Vegetation next to the home should be trimmed to a five foot level.

The HOA is responsible for the first 8 feet from the curb, and the homeowner is responsible for the remainder of their property.

Are there landscapers that are Firewise certified? 

Yes. See the list provided by Scottsdale Fire Department. Approved landscapers

 Do we have to submit anything to the design review committee regarding landscape? 

Only if planning a large landscape project.  

Firewise is about defensible space and village safety.

What is the expected cost I might endure hiring someone to make my house Firewise? 

This will depend on the amount of material that needs to be removed.  We have contacted the approved landscapers listed on our web site and they furnished cost for a 3 person crew with an hourly rate.

What if I have Mistletoe in trees on my property?

Mistletoe should be removed from all plants.

After Firewise Certification:

Will I have to maintain my property as a Firewise property?

Yes. Once your property is Firewise Certified, you are expected to maintain it.   Firewise certifications are renewed every two years.