Air Quality Management to hear from public on fire pit restrictions

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

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

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Tempers might get a little hot in Southern California as smog regulators consider plans to limit beach fire pits.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District will hear public testimony Thursday evening and Friday on proposals to restrict the fire rings. Ideas include a buffer zone between the rings and nearby homes and requiring the use of propane instead of wood fuel.

Newport Beach officials sought an outright ban after residents complained that soot and smoke were drifting over their homes. Nearby cities say the rings are a beach tradition that should be preserved.

The California Coastal Commission is scheduled to consider a ban next month.

However, both sides say they’re willing to compromise and accept restrictions instead.

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