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.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Single mother from Arizona represents state at RNC 2024...

Serena O'Sullivan

Arizona mother critiques Biden’s economic, border policies at Republican National Convention

A single mother who works two jobs to support her family spoke at the first day of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee.

12 minutes ago

President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign rally in Madison, Wisconsin, on July 5, 2024. The Demo...

Democratic National Committee pumps money into battleground state Arizona

The Democratic National Committee announced nearly $1.5 million in investments in Arizona as part of its battleground state strategy.

59 minutes ago

Missing 87-year-old man from Sun Lakes subject of new Silver Alert...

Serena O'Sullivan

Silver Alert issued for missing 87-year-old man last seen in southeast Valley

A missing 87-year-old man from Sun Lakes hasn't been seen since Monday, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

2 hours ago

3 dead after apartment fire broke out in Phoenix Ahwatukee area...

Phoenix FD investigating homicide after 1 woman, 2 men found dead in apartment fire

An apartment fire broke out around 6:30 a.m. on July 15, 2024, according to the Phoenix Fire Department. Three people died as a result.

3 hours ago

Arizona arsonist sentenced to 4 years in prison for 2 house fires...

Arizona man sentenced to 4 years in prison after setting 2 houses on fire last year

A 19-year-old man was sentenced to four years in prison after igniting two West Phoenix houses on fire last May, authorities said.

5 hours ago

Perfect Pear Bistro Chandler set to open soon...

Perfect Pear Bistro expands to Chandler for 1st location outside Tempe

Perfect Pear Bistro expanded its operations outside of Tempe for the first time, bringing its signature grilled cheeses to Chandler on Monday.

5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

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