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Letters: Banning beach fire pits -- a smokescreen?

March 22, 2013
  • Members of the Sasser-Williams family of Los Angeles roast marshmallows at a fire pit at Dockweiler State Beach. Citing health concerns, air quality officials have proposed a year-round ban on open burning on all L.A. and Orange County beaches.
Members of the Sasser-Williams family of Los Angeles roast marshmallows… (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)

Re "Regional ban on beach fires is proposed," March 16

In an enriching story about generosity and humanity, as told by The Times in a separate March 16 article, Superior Court Judge Craig Mitchell trained Midnight Mission residents to run last Sunday's L.A. Marathon. The story shows the positive impact Mitchell had on these men's lives.

In a contrasting story, beachfront property owners in Orange County have demanded that fire pits be removed from the public beaches in front of their homes. They claim they are concerned about the health dangers of wood smoke. No doubt these same owners create smoke from their backyard barbecues and drive cars on freeways near homes and families.

Let's be real: Air quality isn't the issue here. The wealthy beachfront property owners don't want to share "their" beaches.

Donald Funk

Redondo Beach

The real upside to a successful ban on beach fires will be sparing the children who might be burned by such unprotected open fire pits. Previous lawsuits brought by the families of fire-pit burn survivors have been rejected by courts but haven't drawn much media attention.

I applaud the secondhand smoke ploy by beach community residents if that's what it takes to get rid of these attractive nuisances.

Larry Butler

Sherman Village

If the South Coast Air Quality Management District thinks that smoke at the beach is a serious problem, surely it will seek a ban on barbecues, grills and fireplaces at beachfront homes as well as banning fire rings. Otherwise, this would look like wealthy beachfront homeowners trying to get rid of people who bother them by using the public beach at night.

John La Grange

Solana Beach

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