Development of Alternative Fire Rings Approved

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Local beach-goers could soon see low-emission, non-wood burning fire rings, following a vote by a regional committee on Nov. 15.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District’s Technology Committee recently unanimously approved executing two contracts for creating the public beach fire pit rings with Earth’s Flame, Inc. and Blazing Design, Inc. to “develop and demonstrate propane and natural gas fired fire rings.”

Neither is to exceed $300,000.

According to the committee’s agenda, the board released an RFP for the “demonstration of low-emission outdoor non-wood public beach-type fire rings and/or low-emission non-wood burning retrofit equipment and devices for existing outdoor public beach-type fire rings,” at their July 12 meeting.

They received seven proposals and each proposal varied in experience and cost, explained air quality engineer and program supervisor Alfonso Baez at the Nov. 15 meeting.

The board is currently working with the gas company to determine demonstration locations, Baez explained, so the new technology can be evaluated. It could be up to 15 rings, he said.

It was recommended at least one of the demonstration rings be on the state beach.

“I think there are opportunities to make inroads with the state parks,” one member said.

Another member also suggested doing some public outreach.

Committee members also asked Newport Beach Mayor Keith Curry to have a fire official take part in monitoring the alternative fire pits.

“We should ask for some significant contribution from the participating cities, in particular Newport Beach,” said Dr. Joseph Lyou at the meeting. “I think they should be a player in this and help us in any way that is reasonable.”


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  1. Like any experiment you need a control so you can adjust compare or modify and get results, so why does our Staff want to slash almost 50% of the fire rings? how about removing the 10% closest to the inland side of the beach? That will also result in reductions of smoke in the 300 yard AMQD rule. If we add half gas and leave the others wood then we cut the smoke issue by half, which is huge! The City can adjust how its working and compare differences that will help budgets for maintenance. Rules and instructions for the gas pits will be printed, why not make rules for wood burning very strict and conform to use only low smoke hardwoods sold at most super markets. The few folks that started this need to also be flexible to this. The Staff is tip-toeing to the stoic homeowners that would rather just make Newport Beach a Gated City. How about being minded for the “majority” of Southern Californians that really want things left the way its been?