ARIZONA NEWS

Outdoor smoking banned at Maricopa County regional parks to mitigate fire risk

Jul 3, 2024, 5:00 PM

Closeup of a hand holding a lit cigarette. Outdoor smoking is banned at Maricopa County Regional Pa...

Outdoor smoking is banned at Maricopa County Regional Parks. (Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX – If you’re planning to visit a Maricopa County regional park during the Fourth of July holiday weekend, leave your cigarettes in your vehicle or at home.

Outdoor smoking in the parks was banned Monday, as officials expanded existing fire restrictions. Lighting up is permitted only within enclosed vehicles and campers.

In addition, smokers must make sure to fully extinguish materials and dispose of them of properly.

The regional park system for metro Phoenix already banned fires as part of their wildfire season burn restrictions, which are in effect from May 1 to Sept. 30 each year.

As a result, all campfires, fire pits and charcoal grills are prohibited.

However, gas/propane grills are permitted, but only in designated areas. That includes ramada areas and at semi-developed and developed campsites.

Why is there an outdoor smoking ban at Maricopa County regional parks?

The smoking restrictions were added after several park areas were threatened by nearby wildfires.

“Our team has strategically cleared brush to create fire breaks and defensible spaces. But there’s only so much our team can do,” R.J. Cardin, Maricopa County Parks and Recreation director, said in a press release. “Given what we’re seeing, we have decided to heighten our fire restrictions to include smoking. This move is not a knee-jerk reaction to the current situation but rather a preventative measure to keep park visitors, the natural resources and the communities surrounding the park safe.”

The fire restrictions cover the following recreation sites:

  • 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
  • Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area

Other recreation areas across the state, including national forests and State Trust lands, also have various levels of fire restrictions in place.

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Outdoor smoking banned at Maricopa County regional parks to mitigate fire risk