Commission to rule on Newport Beach’s fire rings

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SAN DIEGO (AP) — The California Coastal Commission is set to decide whether beachgoers will continue to be able to laze around bonfires at Newport Beach.

Some beachfront residents complain that smoke from the fires is a nuisance and, worse, a health hazard.

The Los Angeles Times reports the commission is meeting Wednesday to discuss Newport Beach’s request for a permit to remove all its fire rings — 33 near the Balboa Pier and 27 on a stretch of Corona del Mar State Beach.

Those who want to get rid of the fire rings say sometimes smoke gets so thick it sets off alarms in nearby homes.

Opponents of the plan say beach bonfires are a Southern California tradition. An online petition to keep the fire rings has drawn nearly 6,000 responses.

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