Fire pit at Paradise Point
A city fire ring at Paradise Point. Courtesy of the resort

The San Diego City Council has banned open bonfires on municipal beaches to reduce smoke and prevent injuries from hot coals in the sand.

The revised ordinance approved unanimously on Tuesday still permits fires in dozens of existing concrete rings and the use of portable propane-fueled grills and fire pits.

“Today’s beach fire amendment is no ban,” said District 1 Councilmember Joe LaCava. “It is the preservation of the safe enjoyment of an iconic San Diego beach activity — beach fires,.”

“Beachgoers will no longer fear stepping on hot coals buried under the sand or breathing excessive smoke,” he said.

LaCava, who proposed the changes, said they are supported by a broad coalition, including police, firefighters, lifeguards, park rangers and environmentalists.

The city’s concrete fire rings continue to be available for use on a first-come, first-serve basis. There are dozens along beaches throughout the city.



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Ellen Bullock