Beach bonfires spark debate between OC cities

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(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Beach bonfires are sparking debate between neighboring Orange County cities as pollution regulators consider a rule that would effectively ban the blazes.

The Los Angeles Times reports many Huntington Beach residents asked the South Coast Air Quality Management District to recommend dropping the proposed rule Thursday.

Some Newport Beach residents have pushed for removing the fire rings from their local beaches, saying the smoke is drifting into homes and causing health hazards.

Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce chairwoman Dianne Thompson estimated the city would lose $1 million in parking revenue alone if the fires are banned.

The AQMD currently exempts open recreational fires, such as beach bonfires, from rules restricting wood burning. They’re expected to vote May 3.

The California Coastal Commission delayed its final vote until AQMD’s vote.

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