Open-fire ban in Phoenix mountain and desert preserves

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PHOENIX -- It's that time of year again when we see the extreme dangerous fire conditions of low humidity, increasing temperatures and frequent high winds.

That's why beginning Monday, the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department is banning open fires in city mountain and desert preserves.

For preserve areas, the ban includes open wood and charcoal fires and smoking outside of enclosed vehicles. Propane or gas grills can be used only in established picnic areas.

Drivers traveling through or near Phoenix desert preserves should be very careful with cigarettes. You're also urged to use your ashtray in the car and not dispose of your cigarette outdoors. Cigarettes are made to burn long and slowly, which means they can start fires even hours after being dropped or thrown away. Never walk off and leave a burning cigarette.

Folks who live near preserves can help protect their property by getting rid of dry shrubs, brush and grasses. Also, create a 10-foot buffer zone by trimming dead branches from trees within the 10-foot strip of preserve bordering your property.

For general information or for guidance before removing vegetation, residents can contact a Park Ranger by calling 602-495-5458 or by email at

Valley residents also can view the Arizona Interagency Fire Prevention website for additional prevention tips and information on statewide fire restrictions.