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Beach Bonfire Compromise May Require Fire Rings To Be Fueled By Propane

NEWPORT BEACH ( — The debate over the future of beach bonfire rings in Orange County may soon come to an end.

A number of residents, who live across from beaches that are frequented for bonfires, raised concerns over wood-smoke pollution, prompting the initial debate over whether the bonfire rings should be removed.

Other locals have stood their ground that the fire rings should remain.

"I think it's ridiculous," Costa Mesa resident Brian Dormand said. "It's been doing this for a long time. It's great to come out in summer time with your family and friends, and have bonfires."

The South Coast Air Quality Management District had proposed that the there should be a basin-wide ban of the fire rings.

The proposal was met with heavy resistance, including that of the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, and the AQMD now believes they may reach a compromise.

A 700-foot buffer zone would be created between the fire rings and the homes, allowing smoke from the rings to more greatly dissipate.

Meanwhile, the city of Newport Beach is waiting for full city council approval to limit the number of it's fire rings to no more than ten, fueled by natural or propane gas.

"If they can be operated safely, and if there isn't a significant air quality impact, we would keep that and make those permanent," Newport Beach City Manager Dave Kiff said.

Another resident, Eva Brooks, who lives across from Big Corona State Beach, is not a fan of the smoke produced by the fire rings.

"I think the smoke pollution is unpleasant if you're close by," Brooks said.

The Coastal Commission and the AQMD will consider the proposal in July, which would also test propane as a potentially permanent means to fuel the fire rings.



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