The Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department initiated its annual fire ban on May 8. Now, the Department is taking additional steps to protect the parks due to the extremely dry conditions. Effective Monday, June 26, smoking in Maricopa County parks will be prohibited, except within an enclosed vehicle or at developed recreation sites such as parking lots, picnic ramadas or campsites. This restriction is in alignment with the Forest Service and BLM who essentially have similar restrictions.
“We’ve added the smoking restriction to our fire ban in hopes of lessening the chance of human-caused wildfires, which could result in serious damage to the parks and the safety of our guests. Individuals who smoke in the designated areas are also being asked to please make sure all materials are fully extinguished prior to leaving the area,” stated R.J. Cardin Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department Director.
The normal restrictions which include banning the use of all campfires, fire pits, and the use of charcoal in grills or any other manner are still in effect; however, it is acceptable to use gas/propane grills in designated areas. Violation of Park Rule R-113 may result in a citation. A date to lift the fire ban has not been established but may be determined by the amount of rain received during the monsoon season.
There are eleven Maricopa County parks that will be affected by the fire ban: Lake Pleasant Regional Park, White Tank Mountain Regional Park, Adobe Dam Regional Park, Buckeye Hills Regional Park, Estrella Mountain Regional Park (excludes turf area), Hassayampa River Preserve, San Tan Mountain Regional Park, Usery Mountain Regional Park, McDowell Mountain Regional Park, Cave Creek Regional Park, and Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area.
If you have any questions regarding the fire ban, call the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department at (602) 506-2930, or visit http://www.maricopacountyparks.net/.