SAN DIEGO — San Diego is considering banning wood beach bonfires outside of city-designated rings.
The city may move forward with extinguishing wood bonfires at its beaches in the sand or metal containers.
For Josh Kennedy of Beach Fire Guy, wood bonfires on the beach are what brings families and communities together.
“Fires inside of the barbecues and the metal-contained fire pits, I think those are great and it’s a family tradition and I would hate to see that go,” Kennedy said.
His business sets up wood beach bonfires in elevated metal pits that he says are safe and clean.
But a new proposal may soon ban wood and coal bonfires in the sand and in metal containers. It would only allow wood fires inside city-designated fire rings. The proposal would only allow propane fires outside of the rings.
“If people want to have a few bonfires next to each other with a metal ring, I think that should be totally allowed as long as they’re careful and take care of everything,” beachgoer Matthew Shekleton said.
Some argue wood bonfires push smoke into neighborhoods and leave dangerous embers behind in the sand.
“Maybe in that sense, maybe just don’t let people dig in sand but if they’re smart about it and if they’re contained in something else besides these city-ordinated containers, if someone else wants to ordinate their own containers and burn a fires, I think that should be allowed,” Shekleton said.
Kennedy says he always cleans up his bonfire and argues the city doesn’t provide enough designated rings to meet the demand.
“Those are taken. They are few and far between, they are taken early in the morning. I don’t think that taking that away would be a great thing for San Diego. I think it’s an awesome beach that we have here,” Kennedy said.
Councilmember Joe LaCava, who proposed the ban, expects to present it to the city council for approval by October. FOX 5 reached out to the LaCava and has yet to hear back.