When wildland fire crews aren't fighting blazes up north, they're helping prevent potential disasters in neighborhoods.
"A wildfire can happen anywhere," said Tiffany Davila, a public affairs officer for the Arizona Department of Forestry.
One of 12 wildland inmate crews is working in the Rio Montana neighborhood, near 124th Street and Via Linda in north Scottsdale, to clear brush and create what's known as "defensible space" around homes. The neighborhood HOA is hoping to earn the national "Firewise" certification. It would join 75 other communities across the state -- and few others in the Valley -- by meeting certain standards.
Davila said everyone should take steps to safeguard their property, especially in the desert.
"We tell homeowners to trim back their trees, move away dry brush from their property, clear out their gutters," she said.
For more information on the Firewise program, click here .