Wildland (NAOS) Fire Prevention

Bountiful winter rains often turn our neighborhood’s Sonoran desert into a lush green natural landscape.  When hot weather returns there is increased potential fire danger and you should turn to a recent publication that is published by the Scottsdale Fire Department.

The Scottsdale Fire Department has directed the city to encourage residents to create a defensible boundary around homes which may include clearing dead grasses and deadfall from trees in the natural areas that may fall inside the defensible areas.   The suggested defensible space from walls (on lot & perimeter) is 5 feet.  Permission to clear limited materials from the Natural Area Open Space (NAOS) and other natural areas on individual residential lots is a significant change from the city’s prior policy.

Please be aware that the revised fire protection policy does not include removing any live or dormant native plants or trees from the NAOS or Natural Areas designated on your lots as defined in our CC&Rs and Building Guidelines.

Most desert plants are dormant during the summer and to a causal observer or hired laborers they may look dead; however, as part of their survival they have shut down to conserve energy and protect themselves from the heat.  Good examples of dormant plants in the summer are Bursage, Turpentine Bush and Brittle Bush.

The NAOS designation was created in 1991 as part of the Environmentally Sensitive Land Ordinance (ESLO).  Happy Valley Ranch is located in the ESLO district and new homes built or remodeled after 1991 have designated NAOS within each property (lot).  This designation of NAOS is an overlay to our current Natural Area Setbacks which were registered with County (and the City later on) when Happy Valley Ranch 1 was platted.

For further information visit www.scottsdaleaz.gov or this link: