Phoenix fire ban in mountain, desert parks to begin Friday

PHOENIX (AP) - A ban on open fires in Phoenix's mountain and deserve preserves takes effect Friday.

Parks and Recreation Department officials says smoking and charcoal fires are included in the ban because of the extreme fire danger created by the combination of hot temperatures, low humidity and frequent high winds.

The department says the ban applies to Camelback Mountain, Papago Park, all areas of the Phoenix Mountains, South Mountain Park/Preserve, North Mountain and surrounding areas, the Sonoran Preserve, and the Deem Hills area. The ban does not apply to traditional city parks.

Provisions of the ban include prohibiting open, wood and charcoal fires in any of the mountain preserves, prohibiting smoking outside of enclosed vehicles.

Propane and gas grills can be used but only in established picnic areas.