ANTHEM, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- A brush fire that erupted in the middle of an Anthem neighborhood on Tuesday evening left residents wondering what could be done about all the dry brush in the washes that many homes touch.

Arizona's Family set out to find the answer.

[WATCH: Anthem community wants to eliminate dry brush from causing wildfires]

When Arizona's Family returned to the fire site Wednesday afternoon, a downed tree still smoldered just feet away from homes.

"I just wish the HOA [Homeowners Association] would allow us to trim back that area," said Dawn Rundle last night.

Rundle lives right next to the now burned-area.

Related: Brush fire burns near homes in Anthem

We learned it's not up to the HOA.

"It's considered natural area open space and it is designated by the Army Corps of Engineers as 404 area, which means it's protected," said Kristi Northcutt with the Anthem Community Council, the umbrella over 3 HOAs.

She said they've been preparing as best they can.

"Where there are block walls and view fences behind homes, where we would normally clear 3 feet, we're now clearing 5 feet as an extra layer of protection," Northcutt said.

But they can't clear everything because of that wilderness conservation.

"It has to be kept in its natural state in perpetuity," Northcutt said.

She added that homeowners should make sure there aren't any bushes or trees hanging over their property that could catch fire. And while the official cause of the fire in Anthem is not known, she said many of the fires that have been popping up are human-caused, so everyone should be vigilant and responsible.

"A lot of the space in anthem is what makes Anthem, Anthem," Northcutt said. "So we want to keep it as natural as possible, but we need to be aware of the danger involved."

Award-winning journalist Lindsey Reiser is a regular contributor in the evenings on CBS 5 News at 10 p.m.

Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.



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(1) comment


The agreement between the builder and the Army Corps to not remove the veg in the washes goes back to even before the construction of the houses began there. Of course I believe there was an option to pay an agreed-upon sum of money, "in lieu fee", to avoid this requirement. The builders made the choice.

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