MARICOPA COUNTY – Due to extremely dry conditions and as part of its annual fire ban Maricopa County Parks has decided to prohibit smoking, which includes vaping in its parks; the smoking restrictions officially went into effect on June 8.
The Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department implemented its annual fire ban on May 1 this year and decided to take additional steps in protecting its parks by increasing the fire restrictions to include a smoking/vaping ban.
“Since there are so many different types of vaping elements out there, it would be difficult to identify which ones are/are not acceptable, so we treat them like cigarettes,” stated an email from Dawna Taylor, a spokesperson for the parks.
Smoking or vaping will be allowed in enclosed vehicles or at developed recreation sites such as parking lots, picnic ramadas or campsites, according to a press release from the parks department.
“Individuals who smoke in the designated areas are also being asked to please make sure all materials are fully extinguished prior to leaving the area,” stated R.J. Cardin, Maricopa Parks and Recreation Department Director in a press release.
The fire ban implemented by Maricopa County Parks normally includes restricting the use of all campfires, fire pits and the use of charcoal grills, and does allow park visitors to use gas or propane grills in designated areas.
“We’ve added the smoking restriction to our fire ban in hopes of lessening the chance of human-caused wildfires, which could result in serious damage to the parks and the safety of our guests,” said Cardin.
Any one in violation of the parks fire ban could be cited and/or fined.
A date for lifting the fire ban has not been established at this time but is typically determined by the amount of rain received during the monsoon season, according to the parks department.
These are the 11 Maricopa County Parks that will be affected by the fire ban:
- Lake Pleasant Regional Park
- White Tank Mountain Regional Park
- Adobe Dam Regional Park
- Buckeye Hills Regional Park
- Estrella Mountain Regional Park
- Hassayampa River Preserve
- San Tan Mountain Regional Park
- Usery Mountain Regional Park
- McDowell Mountain Regional Park
- Cave Creek Regional Park
- Spur Cross Conservation Area
If you have any questions regarding the fire ban call 920-501-9200 or visit maricopacountyparks.net.