The Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department initiated its annual fire ban on May 11. Now, the department is taking additional steps to protect park visitors and resources due to the extremely dry conditions. Effective Monday, June 1, smoking in Maricopa County’s regional parks will be prohibited, except within an enclosed vehicle or at developed recreation sites such as parking lots and campsites. The restriction comes on the heels of increased wildfire activity throughout Maricopa County.
“Last week, we had wildfires in two of our regional parks and along the Maricopa Trail, which resulted in park visitor evacuations and damage to the parks. To better protect park visitors and lessen the chance of human-caused wildfires, we are adding smoking restrictions in our annual fire ban. Individuals who smoke in the designated areas are also being asked to please make sure all materials are fully extinguished before leaving the area,” stated R.J. Cardin Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department Director.
The usual 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.
Eleven Maricopa County regional parks have been 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, 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 www.maricopacountyparks.net/.