The South Coast Air Quality Management District's Technology Committee could award a contract as soon as Friday to two companies that will create propane and natural gas beach fire rings along the Orange County coast.
The panel's agenda for Friday's meeting at the AQMD headquarters in Diamond Bar indicates Earth's Flame Inc. and Blazing Design Inc. could receive contracts totaling no more than $300,000 each for revamping the pits.
The money "to develop and demonstrate propane and natural gas fired fire rings" is to come from a special revenue fund, according to the AQMD, whose governing board voted 7-6 in July to impose new restrictions on beach bonfires starting next March.
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Depending on how close the fire rings are to homes, some will have to be moved farther away, spaced farther apart or even removed. Huntington City Beach, Bolsa Chica State Beach, Aliso Beach County Park and San Clemente and North Beach are not affected by the new regs. Huntington State Beach, Corona del Mar State Beach, Balboa Beach, Doheny State Beach and Capistrano Beach Park had rings that had to be removed or moved.
The board also indicated at the time a willingness to entertain pilot programs for clean-burning fire rings. Newport Beach Mayor Keith Curry had already agreed by then to a pact to explore them in his city.
Bids were reviewed from seven companies before the AQMD staff recommended the two finalists going before the Technology Committee. If that panel votes to move forward with the firms, the AQMD governing board could vote on the contracts as soon as Dec. 6.