View Full Version : CA to Ban Beach Fires

07-11-2013, 01:59 PM
"A tradition dating back to the 1940s -- bonfire pits on the beaches of southern California -- is being targeted by state officials who say the popular pastime is no longer acceptable because of global warming and negative health consequences.

"One fire pit burning one night, a few hours, a couple bundles of wood, emits as much as one average diesel truck on the road today driving over 500 miles," said Dr. Philip Fine, of the Southern California Air Quality Management District (AQMD).

AQMD staff recommended banning open fires at the beach and removing the hundreds of concrete fire pits that stretch from San Diego to Los Angeles.

After some county supervisors in Los Angeles and Orange County protested, the AQMD backed off a bit. Under a compromise, only those pits within 700 feet of a home must be removed. And fires would be permitted unless the region's air quality is already considered unhealthful."

How long will it be before wilderness fires are also banned, using the same arguments?

Will someone remind me why California is a great place to live?

07-11-2013, 03:28 PM
Will someone remind me why California is a great place to live? I'm actually a very rare 3rd Generation Native Californian (My great grandparents came to the State in covered wagons) and I left the State 20 years ago specifically because I saw this type of mentality taking over. When they banned natural BBQ grills (using natural wood) because of the smoke, I knew it was time to find some new place to set my tent. Now I see NY State heading toward the same mentalities making me feel like a double refugee, looking at properties in Texas to move to. G-d forbid Texas ever becomes a nanny State, I'd most likely be out of options!

ron finkbeiner
07-11-2013, 08:33 PM
Pretty soon they are going to ban breathing unless you have an epa permit.

mark s
07-11-2013, 09:43 PM
I often wish that I lived in a less populous, less regulated time. That said if I lived in a beach front house I sure as hell would petition that they would close beach fire pits used every single day near my house. I think in CA the beaches are not allowed to be private property. To me closing fire pits near existing homes seems a reasonable compromise. Others may see it differently.

07-12-2013, 09:32 AM
Actually I think 50% or more of the coastal land is private, at least the dry sand part. The State/public owns up to the high tide line. It has been a long time since I lived in Calif. (so I could be completely wrong) but there is a patchwork of ownership all along the coast and it is very confusing as to what is open and what is not. In a lot of areas banning fires within 700 ft of a residence is a de-facto total ban since most of the beach front has houses on it. When I was young camping on the beach with a fire to cook on was a great time and I did it often. Glad I left when I did because I have missed all of the sorry decline. I still maintain it is one of the most beautiful places on earth but you would have to remove at least 50% of the people to make it livable (at least for me).

07-12-2013, 02:15 PM
There is sign on the east coast trail - or at least there was - saying that there should not be open fires on the coast line (of course, the weather, foul winds and water, would make no difference). There was a reason listed why fires ought not be started: it would leave a dark mark on the ground.

When I thought about how lame a reason that was one of the fellows I was with said a fire will produce greenhouse gases. He said - and this is a common response when faced with this situation - is that we should cook and stay warm with portable stoves - as if hydrocarbon fuels, which are finite or non-renewable, unlike wood, produce no pollution when burned or produced or harvested or shipped.

There is no shortage, I am afraid, of people whose thoughts are more like random grunting and not a well thought out, integrated script.


07-12-2013, 03:26 PM
A tree produces pretty much the same chemicals when burned as it does when decomposing in the forest. A fire produces these chemicals faster and the heat does alter some of the chemicals but not to any substantial degree.

"There is no shortage, I am afraid, of people whose thoughts are more like random grunting ..."

I think you are giving them too much credit.

mark s
07-13-2013, 09:10 AM
I think the argument is that smoke (carbon soot) absorbs much more heat than CO2. It also has direct health effects (lungs). In a trapped basin like LA, I can understand why they look at such stuff. If I get lung cancer it will probably be from all the campfires, stove fires, grass fires. But I figure all the bacon is going to get me first!

07-13-2013, 10:55 AM
The beaches are filthy. Burned out pallets, litter.

I used to help a friend fire pottery on the beach. We cleaned up after ourselves.

My friends that life along the beach hate the fires.

You guys chiming in from other parts of the country. Ever been to a SF beach party! Fun but messy.

07-13-2013, 11:17 AM
So the real problem is that the California beaches are used by slobs? If that is the problem why not pass a law banning slobs?

ron finkbeiner
07-13-2013, 12:01 PM
My wife and I used to live in Encinitas and we would goto Moonlight beach regularly.