Las Sendas Becomes First Mesa Community to Earn Firewise USA Designation
Posted on Feb 28, 2022
MESA, Arizona – The Las Sendas master-planned community has become the first in Mesa to earn the Firewise USA designation, signifying a commitment to the safety and protection of its residents.
A series of local fires in recent years inspired the community’s resident landscape committee members to prioritize fire mitigation efforts and develop Las Sendas' fire mitigation plan. These disasters included:
- The 2017 Cactus fire, which burned about 800 acres of salt cedar about 1.2 miles from the community.
- The 2019 Woodbury fire in the Superstition wilderness, which highlighted the risk posed by non-native plants and invasive grasses.
- A 2019 fire in a non-maintained wash in Anthem, which confirmed the need to monitor and manage brush and grasses.
- The 2020 Bush fire in the Tonto National Forest, less than 13 miles from Las Sendas.
The Firewire USA program, sponsored by the National Fire Prevention Association, requires communities to undergo an extensive process to receive certification, beginning with receiving a written Wildfire Risk Assessment from a certified inspector.
The Las Sendas Board included community residents throughout the process, offering educational sessions with the Department of Forestry and Fire Services and hosting a Fire Prevention Day event in conjunction with the Mesa Fire Department. The community also completed the equivalent of 3,430 hours of qualifying fire prevention activities.
"Most of this year's hours were invested through the removal of landscape fuel in the common areas, but we also had a number of residents complete work on their property, which is the primary goal of the program," said Christal Bromley, Las Sendas community manager. "People associate wildfires with forests of tall trees and pine cones, but after these past few years, Valley residents know better."
While Las Sendas is the first to officially receive the Firewise USA designation, the Mesa Fire Department has identified about 80 communities representing about 30,000 residents throughout the city that might be candidates.
Communities can perform the necessary tasks over several years, as Las Sendas did, to make the goal attainable and sustainable.
“I would like to offer my congratulations [to Las Sendas] for working so hard to receive this special designation on fire prevention and safety,” said Mesa Councilman David Luna. “I appreciate a responsive community that works toward the safety of everyone living in northeast Mesa.”
Bromley said the benefits of obtaining the designation extend beyond the community’s borders, addressing residents’ concerns about the risk of brushfires near Las Sendas and throughout the Tonto National Forest and surrounding areas. Las Sendas Homeowners with USAA insurance can also receive discounts as a result of the community designation.
ABOUT LAS SENDAS
Las Sendas, governed by the Las Sendas Community Association, is a 3,430-lot community including 1,000 acres of common area, much of which remains unmaintained native vegetation adjacent to residential lots. The community, renowned for its scenic views and vibrant lifestyle programming, borders 2.5 miles of the Tonto National Forest. Scottsdale-based CCMC provides association management services to the community.