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Fire Rings Could Be Banned at All LA and OC State Beaches

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What started with Newport Beach trying to get the fire rings along its coast line removed may lead to the removal of all remaining fire rings from all LA and Orange County beaches. Party poopers. Last month it looked like the California Coastal Commission was all set to deny Newport's request to remove the rings, but then, in a surprise move, they decided to refer the matter to the South Coast Air Quality Management District for a ruling on the health effects of beach bonfires--now the AQMD is proposing to ban the rings: "The draft amendment bans open fires in backyards and wood-burning fires at beaches in order to protect public health," according to the Daily News. That would mean certain doom for 90 fire rings at Dockweiler State Beach and nine on San Pedro beaches. The AQMD sees the ban as "a sensible way to continue to protect the public health from the adverse effects of smoke, according to the Daily Breeze. But the LA Times isn't buying it: "The district staff cites the health of coastal residents and visitors exposed to fine-particulate pollutants. But those pollutants can come from many sources. What's really going on, it seems to me and others, is that a small contingent of wealthy residents don't want other people running around what they think of as their front yards." And it does seem maybe a little silly to worry about the health effects from fires at Dockweiler State Beach, for instance, located as it is next to an airport, refinery, and sewage treatment plant, with nary a residential neighbor.

AQMD is holding a public hearing on the matter on May 3.
· Regional air quality regulators to weigh ban on bonfires at Dockweiler, Cabrillo beaches [DB]
· Newport Beach Will Probably Keep the Fire Rings It Hates [Curbed LA]