Wood or Charcoal Fires Banned at California State Beaches - NBC 7 San Diego

Wood or Charcoal Fires Banned at California State Beaches

Bonfires can only be burned in designated fire rings

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    NEWSLETTERS

    New Rules for Bonfires on State Beaches

    NBC 7's Candice Nguyen reports on the new rules set in place for state beaches in San Diego's North County. (Published Tuesday, June 7, 2016)

    San Diegans heading to state beaches this summer may have to change their bonfire plans.

    Bonfires that are outside of established fire rings at four local state beaches are banned as of Monday by the California Department of Parks and Recreation.

    Those beaches include: Cardiff State Beach, Carlsbad State Beach, South Carlsbad State Beach and San Elijo State Beach.

    Bonfires are allowed at beaches where official fire rings are provided.

    “Our intent is not to eliminate the traditional activity of gathering on the beach around a warming campfire with friends and family,” California State Parks’ San Diego Coast District Superintendent Robin Greene said.

    According to the California Department of Parks and Recreation, the new policy is to reduce debris and prevent injury to beachgoers. Debris from ground fires, including soot, hot coals, nails and lumber become buried in the sand and could injure someone.

    Greene says people are asked to use portable propane fire grills or butane burners instead of wood burning fires at California State Parks.

    Grills are required to have stable legs that are at least six inches off the ground or sand.

    Wood or charcoal fires in designated campsite fire rings will still be allowed at state beaches, including South Carlsbad and San Elijo State Beach campgrounds.

    Some beachgoers NBC 7 spoke with said they agree with the ban.

    "You may think that you're putting sand all over it to cool it down but it'll stay hot underneath for a while," Mike Buscemi, a Carlsbad beachgoer said. 

    He said it's hard to dispose of hot coals and debris from ground fires which can be dangerous, especially for children at the beach.

    "You have some little kid, like my daughter and my son, come by playing, dig in and get a little burned," he said.

    Buscemi said he hasn't heard of this happening but he knows it's a possiblity. 

    Michael Miranda, another beachgoer, told NBC 7 his brother got burned from hot coals left behind in a ground fire.

    "My brother was walking down the beach, when we were young, and didn't realize they was a fire that had been burning. It was already out. The coals were still so hot, they just burned his feet," Miranda said. 

    His brother, 18 years old at the time, suffered third degree burns. It took him months to recover. 

    Miranda said the fire had been out for a couple of hours but the coals were still hot enough to cause severe burns.

    He said as long as beachgoers can still have a fire, he agrees with the ban because safety comes first.

    Below is a list of the new rules, according to state officials:

    Name of State Beach or Campground

     

    RULES

    Cardiff State Beach

    • Propane fires only on the beach. 
    • No wood or charcoal.
    • BBQ limited to propane only.

     

    Carlsbad State Beach

    • Propane fires only. 
    • No wood or charcoal.
    • BBQ limited to propane only.

     

    Leucadia State Beach

    Operated by city of Encinitas

    • No fire rings or BBQ provided.
    • No fires or BBQs allowed.

     

    Moonlight

    Operated by city of Encinitas

    • Fires in city provided fire rings only. 
    • BBQ limited to city-provided BBQ.

     

    Oceanside Harbor

    City of Oceanside

     

    • Beach fires allowed in provided fire rings only.

     

    San Elijo State Beach

     

    • Propane fires only on the beach. 
    • No wood or charcoal.
    • BBQ limited to propane only.

     

    San Elijo State Beach

    Campground

    Fire rings are provided and the following restrictions apply:

    • Treated wood and wood pallets are prohibited. 

     

    Silver Strand State Beach

    • Beach fires allowed in provided fire rings only. 

     

    Silver Strand State Beach

    Campground

     

    • Portable fire pits/ stoves are permitted within assigned campsites on the asphalt if the stove is self-standing and has a minimum clearance of 6" between the ground and bottom of the stove.  

     

    • Coals and ashes must be disposed of properly in a"Hot Coals"container or removed fromt he park. 

     

    South Carlsbad State Beach

    • Propane fires only.
    • No wood or charcoal.
    • BBQ limited to propane only.

     

    South Carlsbad State Beach Campground

    Fire rings are provided and the following restrictions apply:

    • Treated wood and wood pallets are prohibited.  

     

    Torrey Pines State Beach

    • Propane or charcoal fires in portable cooking units only on the beach.
    • Coals and ashes must be disposed of properly in a"Hot Coals"container or removed from the park. 
    • No wood fires.

     

    Torrey Pines State

    Natural Reserve

     

    • No fires or BBQ allowed.