Fire ban begins early at Maricopa County parks

Posted at 5:40 AM, May 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-08 08:41:45-04

Maricopa County Parks officials have implemented a fire ban at county parks, a move that comes weeks earlier than usual.

Park officials said it rained significantly over the last year so there is a lot of vegetation and thick brush that is now dry. Those conditions can spell disaster during a wildfire. 

Ranger Mark Paulet said the Cactus Fire is "a very good example of what can happen so that was just one more reason to implement the fire ban earlier than usual."

The ban starts Monday and it includes the use of campfires, fire pits and charcoal grills. People can still use gas or propane grills but only in designated areas. 

Smokers must make sure all cigarettes are out and thrown in the trash. 

The ban affects 11 county parks including Lake Pleasant, White Tank and San Tan Mountain parks.
The City of Phoenix ban goes into effect one week from Monday, on May 15th. 

County park officials say they'll assess the ban after the monsoon to figure out a date to lift it.