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Knabe Fights to Keep ‘Fire Rings’ at LA County Beaches

Could "fire rings" at Los Angeles County Beaches be snuffed out?  Supervisor Don Knabe is fighting a proposal that would end the time honored tradition.

Could “fire rings” at Los Angeles County Beaches be snuffed out? Supervisor Don Knabe is fighting a proposal that would end the time honored tradition.

By Brian Hews

Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe has lashed out at a proposed change that would eliminate open pit fires at beaches under the counties jurisdiction.

At this week’s Board of Supervisor’s meeting, Knabe announced that he will propose a motion that would “oppose any action on the part of the Air Quality Management District to prohibit, statewide, fire rings on beaches that are used for campfires.”

“Beach fires are a long-time recreational tradition in Southern California,” Knabe said.

“Picking on beach fire rings due to their health risks seems to me to be one of the lesser causes of the various ailments that our residents and visitors might suffer. Local jurisdictions should be able to regulate or prohibit beach fire rings as they see fit based on what is right for their areas and constituents,” he told Los Cerritos Community Newspaper in a statement.

“Although I have been informed the AQMD’s original June 7 hearing date has been postponed, nonetheless, the AQMD could rule on this in the near future, and I do not want Los Angeles County to lose the opportunity to participate in the debate and take a role in determining its future related to beach fire rings,” Knabe said.

Most of Knabe’s sprawling district represents coastal beach communities in Los Angeles County and he has been a strong advocate and promoter of county beaches during his tenure on the Board of Supervisors.

“From the time of the beach parties of Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon, beach campfires are a low cost time-honored tradition and recreational pastime in the Los Angeles County area – indeed, all of Southern California – and appeal to the wide and diverse population that Los Angeles County serves,” he said.

“In fact, when the County took over operation of Dockweiler State Beach in 1975, the fire rings were already there and to this day remain. At a quick glance, parking revenue alone evidences that our residents and visitors are willing to pay for something they appreciate – recreating at the beach in the evening hours surrounding a fire ring,” Knabe continued.

He also stressed that “parking revenue earned after 4:00 p.m. at Dockweiler State Beach amounts to as much as 43% of that beach’s parking lot proceeds annually, or approaching $570,000 in absolute dollars. Again, this is after the typical beach-going activity is over for the day.”

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  • AQMD sucks! says:

    If the AQMD really wanted to curb pollution they would do away with their own cars, both personal and agency, and ride bicycles.

    Doing away with fire pits solves nothing, except to push the younger crowd away from family and friends at the beaches and toward the night life bar scene. Reduce pollution and increase drunk driving — gee smart government policy, NOT.