That was fast. Last night, the Newport Beach City Council voted unanimously to remove the 60 fire pits at Corona del Mar and Balboa Pier. Goodbye summer bonfires. Au revoir to that guy who always whips out a guitar. So long to the bits of marshmallow that always fly into your hair and are a bitch to wash out.
The council listened to a string of complaints from residents who believe the smoke from the fire rings is a health hazard. According to Corona Del Mar Today, a man named Charles Farrell called himself a “victim of slow asphyxiation,” saying, “Before I go to sleep at night, I put my face in front of the purifier to remember what clean air smells like.” The agony of beachside living.
Others complained that the pits attract unruly crowds (also known as “people under 40”), and can lead to injuries. In Huntington Beach, a father is suing the city after his kid fell into one.
The audience applauded the vote. Removing the fire rings, however, will take some time–the city first needs to get permission from the state Coastal Commission. Some residents are trying to stop that from happening. David Ruiz started a petition asking the commission to deny the permits needed to remove the pits. He writes that the pits “stand for a tradition that all southern California residents can enjoy and should have the chance to experience with their families for years to come.”