The Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department has initiated its summer ban of open fires in the city’s desert and mountain preserves. In consultation with the Phoenix Fire Department, smoking and charcoal fires are included in the ban due to the extreme fire danger that the combination of low humidity, increasing temperatures and frequent high winds create each spring. Additional information about the ban is available at phoenix.gov/parks/trails.
For those using the preserves, the fire ban stipulates the following: Open, wood and charcoal fires are prohibited in any part of Phoenix’s preserves, including Camelback Mountain, Papago Park, all areas of the Phoenix Mountains, North Mountain and surrounding areas. The ban does not apply to traditional city parks. Propane or gas grills may be used, but only in established picnic areas.
In addition, smoking outside of enclosed vehicles will continue to be prohibited.
To protect their homes, residents whose property borders the preserves may remove dry shrubs, brush and grasses, and trim dead branches from trees within the 10-foot strip of preserve bordering their property. By creating this 10-foot “buffer zone,” residents can help to protect their homes from brush fires in the adjacent preserve. Preserve neighbors also should check irrigation lines and pool back-flush hoses to ensure that water is not seeping into the preserve. Outside water sources encourage unnaturally dense vegetation growth, which increases fire risk.
For general information regarding removing vegetation, residents can contact a park ranger by calling 602-495-5458 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.