Arizona Wildfire Which Sparked Evacuation of Park Caused by Humans

An Arizona park has been forced to temporarily close following a wildfire which was later determined to be manmade.

People hiking or biking in the White Tank Mountain Regional Park near Phoenix were forced to evacuate on Thursday as a result of the blaze in Area 4.

"All of the appropriate response teams are on the scene and working on the wildfire," Maricopa County Parks officials said in a statement.

The park and trails will remain closed throughout May 22.

The Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management later confirmed the flames were caused by humans and an investigation into the incident has been launched.

There are no reported injuries as a result of the blaze.

The fire broke out after Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department brought in a fire ban on May 11 in a bid to prevent any wildfires spreading.

"Given the abundance of rain we've received this year, we had a beautiful wildflower season in the parks. As temperatures begin to rise, the parks are left with dangerous loads of dried-out brush on the ground that can ignite a wildfire with just a small spark," R.J. Cardin, Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Director said in a statement.

"As a land manager, we believe implementing a fire ban at this time is the responsible thing to do to ensure visitor and park resource safety."

Use of campfires, fire pits and charcoal grills are prohibited as a result of the ban, although gas/propane grills are still allowed in certain designated areas.

While smoking in the parks is allowed, people are discouraged to do so in the park because of the extremely dry conditions. Those who do smoke are being advised to fully extinguish all cigarettes properly and place them in trash receptacles.

White Tank Mountain Regional Park is one of the parks affected by the ban, along with others such as Adobe Dam Regional Park, Lake Pleasant Regional Park, Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area and Cave Creek Regional Park.

The National Weather Service currently has a Red Flag fire warnings in place for northwest Arizona which affects locations near Fredonia, Grand Canyon, Jacob Lake, North Rim and Valle and parts of the Kaibab National Forest.

The warning are in place as a result of strong gusty winds and low relative humidity in the area, which can contribute to extreme fire behavior.

A Red Flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring or are imminent.

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(File photo) Flames of the Rodeo/Chediski fire consumes the forest June 28, 2002 on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation near Cibecue, Arizona. An Arizona park has been forced to temporarily close following a human-cuased wildfire. David McNew/Getty