It's been a nail-biting time for Southern California's fire pit enthusiasts. What once looked like an easily-dismissed request from Newport Beach to the California Coastal Commission to be allowed to remove its pits wound up imperiling the whole region's access to beach fire fun once the Air Quality Management District got involved. But now there's a new twist! Fire-pit-hating William Burke, Chair of the AQMD (and founder of the LA Marathon, incidentally), has just resigned as a member of the Coastal Commission. The Daily Pilot reports that Burke was pressured by two Orange County legislators to resign after he likened smoke from Newport's fire rings to carpet bombing in Vietnam. "I looked at the aerial photograph and i said to myself 'Oh my God! This is Vietnam revisited,'" Burke said at an AQMD meeting (video) earlier this month. What effect this has on the fate of the fire pits remains to be seen; both the Coastal Commission and AQMD have postponed their decisions until June.
· Dual-serving coastal commissioner resigns under fire [DP]
· Fire Pit Archives [Curbed LA]