It will be legal to burn open fires in city of Phoenix desert parks and mountain preserves, starting on Dec. 1, as the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department has decided to lift the ban on such activities then.

Usually the annual open fire ban is removed in the month of October but it was extended this year because of the unseasonably warm and dry fall weather. Those using parks are being reminded that vegetation in the parks and preserves is still dry so they should be cautious any time they use an open fire. After consulting with the Phoenix Fire Department, officials set the ban to go into effect on May 1, prohibiting open wood and charcoal fires. Propane or gas grills were not prohibited but people may only use them in established picnic areas.

The ban had applied to Camelback Mountain, Phoenix Mountains Preserve, North Mountain Park, Deems Hill Recreation Area, Papago Park, Phoenix Sonoran Preserve, Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area, South Mountain Park/Preserve and Phoenix Mountains Park and Recreation Area. This restriction did not apply to Phoenix’s flatland parks.

Drivers traveling through or near Phoenix’s desert parks and mountain preserves should be very careful with smoking materials and dispose of those only inside their vehicle’s ash tray. Smoking outside of an enclosed vehicle in those natural areas is prohibited year-round.

Residents who live on property that borders the city’s preserve land can remove dry shrubs, brush and grasses, as well as trim dead branches from trees within the 10-foot strip of land that borders their land in order to try to protect their homes from fires.

To learn more about removing vegetation, contact a Phoenix Park Ranger at 602-495-5458 or