Times Spent Outdoors: Priceless!

Annual Fire Bans Implemented

Arizona - County, state, and federal agencies on guard to prevent wildfires.

The Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department has initiated its annual fire ban as have other land-management agencies throughout Arizona.

“This winter, portions of the Valley received a significant amount of rain. While the showers produced a beautiful wildflower season, they also increased fuel loads of ground coverage and brush in the parks, which intensifies the possibility of wildfires. As a precaution, the department began its annual fire ban after Memorial Day weekend,” said Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Director R.J. Cardin.

“The fire ban includes the use of campfires, fire pits and charcoal grills; however, it is still acceptable to use gas/propane grills in designated areas such as the ramada areas, semi-developed and developed camping sites and along the shoreline at Lake Pleasant Regional Park,” said Maricopa County Supervisors’ Chairman Andy Kunasek. Violation of this park rule, Rule 113, may result in a citation.

“The National Weather Service has issued several red flag warnings across central Arizona over the past few weeks to alert land-management agencies that conditions are ideal for wildfire ignition.

“If we continue to experience high winds, the park supervisors have been authorized to issue a park-specific temporary fire ban to ensure public safety and protect the park resources. When temporary fire bans are issued, information will be posted under the “alert tab” of the parks website page and park visitors will be notified as they enter the park,” Cardin added.

Smoking in the parks is still permissible, but all park users are strongly encouraged to be responsible in their use and ensure that all cigarettes are properly extinguished and placed in trash receptacles. A date to lift the fire ban has not been identified and will be determined by the amount of rain Maricopa County receives during the monsoon season.

If you have any questions regarding the fire ban, call the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department at (602) 506-2930, or visit http://www.maricopa.gov/parks.

But Wait; There’s More!

For more fire-ban information, visit the Arizona Interagency Media Release at http://wildlandfire.az.gov/.

‘Know Before You Go!’

It’s that time of the year when Arizonans flock to their favorite outdoor places, and the continued warm, windy and dry conditions mean that fire and smoking restrictions will be in place throughout the state by the Memorial Day weekend. Public land managers are urging the public to be careful with fires and to know if the area they plan to visit is under fire restrictions. Know before you go!

During these times of warmer weather and high winds, and before the start of the monsoons and lightning, most wildfires are human caused. Public land management agencies are implementing fire and smoking restrictions to protect public health and safety by preventing human-caused wildfires.

Contact The Nearest

For detailed information about fire and smoking restrictions, folks should contact the nearest land management agency office where they plan to work or play, visit http://firerestrictions.us/az or call the toll free Southwest Fire Restriction Hotline 1-877-864-6985. Fire restrictions will remain in effect until public lands receive significant precipitation.

Recreational opportunities on public lands are plentiful. People can still enjoy hiking, camping, mountain biking, or fishing. Land managers ask that folks enjoy their public lands responsibly: fires in developed campsites or picnic areas where grills are allowed should never be left unattended and always completely extinguished before departing.

Useful Social Media Sites

Arizona Fire Prevention & Information (fire restrictions & red flag alerts) http://www.wildlandfire.az.gov/, Twitter: @wildlandfireAZ #AZFire, @blmazfire

Arizona Emergency Information Network (for all hazard emergency and disaster information http://www.azein.gov, Twitter: @AZEIN

Inciweb (large wildland fires nationwide) http://www.inciweb.nwcg.gov, Twitter: @inciweb


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