Mountain Vista Fire District received an improved rating from the Insurance Services Office. The rating evaluates the fire safety of the district and could allow residents and business owners to pay lower fire insurance premiums.

The Insurance Services Office, an insurance industry risk assessment service, rates districts on aspects including  the department staffing, training and geographical distribution of its resources, the handling of fire alarms, water supply and maintenance of hydrants.

Ratings vary in the district between 3 and 4, depending on the location of homes in relation to fire stations and hydrants. The lower the rating, the less risk a particular structure is deemed to face.

Of the more than 300 fire departments in the state, 42 are rated class three or lower.

Contact reporter Phil Villarreal at pvillarreal@azstarnet.com or 573-4130.