PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department will launch its annual fire restrictions next week, the agency announced.
Dawna Taylor with Maricopa County Parks and Recreation said recent rainfall allowed for a ban delay until after Memorial Day.
The ban goes into effect May 31.
In the past few years there have been times when most of the state’s six national forests (Apache-Sitgreaves, Coconino, Coronado, Kaibab, Prescott and Tonto) were in campfire and smoking restrictions ahead of the holiday weekend.
“When people come out they will no longer be allowed to have campfires, fire pits or charcoal grills. However, it is still acceptable to use gas/propane grills in designated areas such as the ramada areas, semi-developed and developed camping sites, and along the shoreline at Lake Pleasant Regional Park,” Taylor said.
“Right now there’s a lot of ground cover that’s dry and brittle and we don’t want to risk having a flying ember and igniting a wildfire.”
People caught using a campfire or charcoal grill face citations.
A date to lift the fire ban has not set and will be determined by the amount of rain Maricopa County receives during the monsoon.
If a strong enough monsoon arrives, the ban could be lifted Labor Day, although Taylor pointed to one season when the ban stretched into October.
The Maricopa County parks affected by the fire ban are:
• Lake Pleasant Regional Park
• White Tank Mountain Regional Park
• Adobe Dam Regional Park
• Buckeye Hills Regional Park
• Estrella Mountain Regional Park (excludes turf area)
• San Tan Mountain Regional Park
• Usery Mountain Regional Park
• McDowell Mountain Regional Park
• Cave Creek Regional Park
• Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area