SoCal smog agency votes on stricter fire pit regs

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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)

DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (AP) — Southern California pollution regulators have voted to keep a healthy distance between fire pits and beach community homes.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District board voted 7-6 Friday to prohibit fire rings within 700 feet of homes, with exceptions for areas where rings are at least 100 feet apart or if there are less than 15 fire rings in any city.

Spokesman Sam Atwood says there are more than 750 beach fire pits in Los Angeles and Orange County, and the new regulation would affect about 100 of them.

Newport Beach residents sought a ban, saying the smoke drifts over and pollutes their homes. But neighboring cities, primarily Huntington Beach, say they are a beach tradition and a tourist attraction.

The new regulation goes into effect March 1, 2014.

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