Annual fire ban set to begin in Maricopa County, some Arizona national forests

May 1, 2022, 6:30 AM | Updated: May 2, 2022, 12:52 pm
(KTAR Photo/Jim Cross)...
(KTAR Photo/Jim Cross)
(KTAR Photo/Jim Cross)

PHOENIX — As temperatures heat up across the state, city officials have put in place an annual fire ban in desert parks and preserves starting Sunday.

In effect from May 1 through Sept. 30, the fire ban includes the use of campfires, fire pits and charcoal grills.

The fire ban includes Camelback Mountain, Papago Park, South Mountain Park/Preserve and the Phoenix Mountain Preserve. It doesn’t apply to city flatland parks.

“The department’s annual fire ban dates align with the county’s Air Quality Department burn activity regulations. Under these regulations, outdoor recreational fires are prohibited within Area A’s boundaries between May 1 and September 30. This area encompasses all of our regional parks,” R.J. Cardin, Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department director, said in a press release.

Smoking is included in the ban on Phoenix parks and preserves but will still be allowed in county parks.

The bans go into effect due to the combination of low humidity, increased temperatures, dry vegetation and frequent high winds each spring brings on.

While both bans are in effect until Sept. 30, the bans could be extended.

Elsewhere, national forests in central and northern Arizona will soon be implementing Stage 1 fire restrictions, as will the Bureau of Land Management’s Phoenix and Colorado River districts.

Starting at 8 a.m. on May 5, the Coconino, Kaibab (Williams and Tusayan ranger districts), Prescott, Tonto and Apache-Sitgreaves national forests will implement fire and smoking restrictions.

Under Stage 1 restrictions, fires, campfires, charcoal, coal and wood stoves are prohibited unless used within a developed recreation site, according to a press release. Fireworks are always prohibited.

Restrictions remain in effect until forest service officials determine conditions have changed enough to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires.

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Annual fire ban set to begin in Maricopa County, some Arizona national forests