PHOENIX - The annual burn ban at Maricopa County parks will start May 8, almost a month early, officials said Friday.
The ban includes campfires, fire pits and charcoal grills, but allows propane fires.
County parks officials said the fire ban usually goes into effect after Memorial Day, but the fire danger has increased to the point where parks officials believed it was safer to implement the ban earlier.
"It was very green and then with the temperatures warming up, it started drying out rather quickly," spokesperson Donna Taylor said.
The wet winter led to vegetation growth, Taylor said. But once temperatures began heating up, that vegetation dried up or died out, leading to increased fire danger.
The fire ban usually ends once there's enough rainfall during the monsoon season.
The ban includes Adobe Dam Regional Park, Buckeye Hills Regional Park, Cave Creek Regional Park, Estrella Mountain Regional Park (excludes turf area), Hassayampa River Preserve, Lake Pleasant Regional Park, McDowell Mountain Regional Park, San Tan Mountain Regional Park, Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area, Usery Mountain Regional Park, and White Tank Mountain Regional Park.
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