The Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department will initiate its annual fire ban on Monday, May 1, 2023. The City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department's annual fire ban goes into effect the same day.
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.
"This winter, Maricopa County received an abundance of rain, which provided us with a beautiful superbloom of wildflowers in the parks. As the temperatures begin to rise, this vegetation is drying out and quickly becoming an ideal source for wildfire ignition. Implementing a fire ban limits the possibility of starting a brush fire, which could cause severe damage to park resources, threaten park visitor safety, and pose a danger to homes near many of our parks," added R.J. Cardin, Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department director.
It is also important to note that during this time of year, the National Weather Service often issues red flag warnings across central Arizona to alert land management agencies that conditions are ideal for wildfire ignition. Should this occur before the fire ban, park supervisors are authorized to issue temporary fire bans to ensure public safety and protect the park's resources.
When temporary fire bans are issued, the information is posted on the website, and visitors are notified upon entry to the park. The parks also stop selling firewood during this time.
The fire ban does not allow campfires, fire pits, and charcoal grills; however, using gas/propane grills in designated areas such as semi-developed and developed camping sites is still acceptable. Campfires along the shoreline at Lake Pleasant Regional Park are prohibited. Those who violate the fire ban may be fined under Rule 314, Section 312.
Smoking in the parks is also discouraged due to the extremely dry conditions. Please be responsible and ensure that all cigarettes are properly extinguished and placed in trash receptacles if you must smoke.
While September 30 is the traditional fire ban lift date, an extension is possible. Park staff will monitor precipitation levels and vegetation conditions in the parks throughout the summer to determine if an extension is necessary.
Contact the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department at (602) 506-2930, or visit www.maricopa.gov/parks for additional information.