June 2008

Annual Fire Ban Implemented May 12

The Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department initiated its annual fire ban on May 12.

“This winter, the County received an abundance of rainfall [that] produced beautiful wildflowers and lush vegetation in the parks. However, this vegetation has since dried out and left the parks with a large quantity of ground coverage that could easily catch fire,” stated Maricopa County Supervisor Andy Kunasek, chairman, District 3.

“Because of these conditions, the parks are initiating the fire ban a little earlier this year. The ban includes the use of campfires, fire pits and charcoal grills.  It is still acceptable to use gas/propane grills in designated areas,” added Kunasek.

A fire ban is initiated to limit the possibility of starting a brush fire, which could cause serious damage to the parks. Violation of this park rule, Rule 113, may result in a citation. A date to lift the fire ban has not been designated and will be determined by the amount of rain Maricopa County receives during the monsoon season.

There are 10 Maricopa County parks that will be affected by the fire ban: 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, and Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area.

Smoking in the parks is still permissible, but all park users are strongly encouraged to be responsible in their use and ensure that all cigarettes are properly extinguished and placed in trash receptacles.

If you have any questions regarding the fire ban, call the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department at (602) 506-2930, or visit www.maricopa.gov/parks.