Tests show Calif beach bonfires hurt air quality

View Comments
Beach goers stand around a fire pit, Huntington Beach, California (AP Photo)

Beach goers stand around a fire pit, Huntington Beach, California (AP Photo)

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Preliminary testing shows that wood smoke from beach bonfires that dot the Southern California coastline is hurting air quality near the fire pits and in adjacent neighborhoods.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District on Wednesday released results that showed microscopic pollutants from wood smoke were up to 10 times higher than background levels in parking lots near the fire pits.

In residential areas, that extra-fine pollution was up to three times the normal “background” level.

The report estimates one bonfire burning all evening emits as much pollution as a diesel truck driving 564 miles.

Air quality regulators are poised to vote on a proposal to ban beach bonfires in Los Angeles and Orange counties over concerns about their health impact. The proposal has ignited a controversy.

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus