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News Flash • Fire Restrictions Increased In Maricopa County’

As the Arizona heat continues to dry out vegetation, numerous wildfires have begun to break out around the valley. On June 12, the Hassayampa River Reservation narrowly escaped the Rose Fire, which destroyed 15 structures and 166 acres of land.

“This is not the first time a fire has come dangerously close to a Maricopa County regional park,” said Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Director RJ Cardin. “Cave Creek Regional Park and McDowell Mountain Regional Park have also had fires on the perimeter of the park. Our teams have strategically cleared brush to create firebreaks and defensible space, but there is only so much our teams can do. Given the current situation, we have decided to tighten fire restrictions to include smoking. This is not a knee-jerk reaction to the current situation, but a preventative measure to keep park visitors, natural resources and the communities surrounding our parks safe. Recently, Coconino and Kaibab National Forests We have also raised our fire restrictions to Stage 2, which means no smoking allowed.”

Beginning Monday, July 1, smoking will be prohibited in Maricopa County regional parks. However, this does not apply inside enclosed vehicles or campers. Smokers should ensure all materials are thoroughly extinguished and properly disposed of. The Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department has issued its annual fire ban effective May 1.

The usual restrictions remain in effect, i.e. the prohibition on all campfires, fire pits, grills or any other use of charcoal, however the use of gas/propane grills is permitted in designated areas. Violation of Parks Rule R-113 may result in prosecution. A lifting date for the campfire ban has not been determined.

Eleven Maricopa County regional parks are 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, Hassayampa River Preserve, San Tan Mountain Regional Park, Ussary Mountain Regional Park, McDowell Mountain Regional Park, Cave Creek Regional Park and Spur Cross Ranch Preserve.

For questions regarding fire bans, contact the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department at (602) 506-2930 or visit www.maricopa.gov/parks.

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