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Phoenix, Maricopa County lifting fire bans in parks and preserves

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — Two separate, seven-month fire bans inside Phoenix and Maricopa County parks and preserves will be lifted in less than two weeks.

The fire bans, which prohibit open wood and charcoal fires within park boundaries, end on Dec. 1, each said in press releases on Wednesday.

The fire bans were extended after a warm and dry fall season throughout the state.

The city instituted its ban on May 1, while the county issued its own on May 11.

Maricopa County expanded restrictions on June 1, prohibiting visitors from smoking anywhere except inside their vehicles or in designated areas.

Phoenix’s ban applied to the city’s mountain parks, such as Camelback Mountain, Papago Park and Phoenix Mountain Park and Recreation Area, to name a few. It did not apply to the city’s flatland spaces, according to the release.

Maricopa County’s fire ban applied to its 11 county parks, including Lake Pleasant Regional Park, White Tank Regional Park and McDowell Mountain Regional Park, among others.

Though the fire ban will be revoked, officials request that visitors use extreme caution with open flames given how dry the parklands are right now.

Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department Director R.J. Cardin reminded park visitors that campfire and barbecue caution is still advised inside park boundaries.

“I’d like to remind everyone that the vegetation in parks is still extremely dry and to keep a close eye on their campfires,” Cardin said in a press release.

“If wind conditions or other factors become a problem, the park supervisors may issue a temporary fire ban to ensure park visitor and park resource safety.”

The city and county both recommend that residents whose properties abut parkland trim and remove dry shrubs, brush and grasses to create a 10-foot buffer zone for their property in case of wildfire.

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