North Central News

City bans open fires in parks and preserves

A fire ban is in place on open fires in the city of Phoenix’s desert parks and mountain preserves.

This annual ban began last month, the same day the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department’s annual fire ban went into effect. After consulting with the Phoenix Fire Department, city officials decided smoking and charcoal fires would be included in the ban because of the extreme fire danger posed by the combination of low humidity, increased temperatures, frequent high winds and excessive dry vegetation. The ban is in place for Camelback Mountain, Deem Hills Recreation Area, Lookout Mountain, Papago Park, Phoenix Mountains Park and Recreation Area, Phoenix Mountains Preserve, Phoenix Sonoran Preserve, North Mountain Park, Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area and South Mountain Park/Preserve. It does not apply to the flatland parks.

Anyone using the city’s desert parks and preserve land should know that open wood and charcoal fires are prohibited. Propane or gas grills may be used but only in established picnic areas. Smoking outside of enclosed vehicles is not allowed year-round. Fireworks also are not permitted any time of the year.

Drivers traveling through or near Phoenix’s desert parks and mountain preserves should be very careful with smoking materials and only dispose of them in their vehicles’ ashtrays.

To protect their homes, residents with property on the border of the city’s preserve land can remove dry shrubs, grasses and brush and trim dead branches from trees within the 10-foot strip of land that borders their property. Creating this “buffer zone” allows residents to help protect their homes from possible brush fires in the adjacent preserve land. Preserve neighbors also ought to check irrigation lines and pool back-flush hoses to ensure that water is not seeping into the preserve. Outside water sources can boost unnaturally dense vegetation growth, which raises fire risk.

For more information about removing vegetation, contact a Phoenix park ranger at 602-495-5458 or


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