Propane Grills Let Memorial Day Campers Skirt Fire Ban Rules

Propane fire pits offer the benefits of an open fire but don't create dangerous embers that can spark a forest fire. (image: outdoorpropanefirepits.net)

Nature lovers planning a camping trip this Memorial Day weekend face fire bans in all six Arizona national parks. But southern holidaymakers can still look forward to roasted marshmallows beneath the stars if they’re packing a propane grill.

Burn bans came into force earlier this month as temperatures warmed and conditions got dangerously dry. But Tonto National Forest Service spokeswoman Tammy Pike said campers could either light fires in designated cement-bottomed fire rings, or using propane grills in other non-designated areas, azfamily.com reported.

“The thing about propane gas is it doesn’t produce embers so even though you’ve got open fire you’re not going to have sparks going places that can catch this dry grass.”

For those campers who prefer staying off the beaten path away from designated fire areas, she recommends a portable propane fire pit which heats lava rocks with propane-fuelled flames. The devices are considered “gas stoves” that can be fired up in areas where open fires are not permitted. Campers just have to remember to keep the propane fire pits clear of anything that could catch alight from the lava rocks’ intense heat.

The fire pits cost between $80 and $100. And though they may not be the same as the real thing, it’s a small price to pay for that sweet roasted marshmallow flavor.

Propane gas grilling is permitted in Arizona national parks, despite fire restrictions being in place. (image: azfamily.com)

So what are you waiting for? Get roasting…