Health & Medicine

Folsom to consider fire ban in parks

The Folsom City Council will consider a ban on fires in parks and open space Tuesday night due to dry conditions, similar to one recently approved for county parks.

Folsom has had some fires in its parks, but Fire Chief Ronald Phillips said he proposed the ban because of the underlying conditions related to the drought.

A staff report said there also has been an increase in fires behind the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary, putting the public and animals at risk. The zoo was closed Monday, and no one could be reached for comment.

The urgency ordinance would go into effect immediately and would prohibit fires in parks and other open-space areas except when they’re designated as picnic areas, Phillips said.

The Fire Department has responded to a couple of fires in parks this year that escaped the perimeter intended by those who started them, he said. None caused significant damage, he said.

The Folsom proposal is similar to restrictions that Sacramento County supervisors approved in August in response to dozens of fires along the American River Parkway.

Some county officials have attributed an increase in parkway fires this year to illegal camping and drought. Folsom police earlier this year arrested a homeless man suspected of starting grass fires, Phillips said.