The City of Phoenix's Parks and Recreation Department will be shutting down vehicle access to desert parks and mountain preserves as Independence Day celebrations begin to prepare for night festivities.

The closure, according to the department, is an effort to reduce the danger of fire.

Starting at 3 p.m. all of the gates to following places will be closed:

• Camelback Mountain

• Papago Park

• All areas of the Phoenix Mountains Preserve

• South Mountain Park/Preserve - upper lookouts will close at 1 p.m.

• North Mountain and surrounding areas

• Sonoran Preserve

• Deem Hills and surrounding areas

• Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area

Fireworks, open fires, charcoal fires and smoking will not be allowed anywhere in any of the parks or mountain preserves.

"Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department staff encourage Valley residents to celebrate Independence Day by attending one of the city's free events," the department wrote. "Those events provide a better vantage point to view fireworks and offer additional family-oriented activities."

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