California lawmakers adopted a resolution Monday in support of beach fire rings as a California tradition, according to a news release from the office of the resolution's author, Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach).
The action came as officials and residents throughout Southern California continued to debate a ban on beach fires proposed by regional air quality regulators, which has split those concerned about negative health impacts from living near the fires and those who fought to keep the tradition alive. Last week, however, South Coast Air Quality Management District staff proposed a compromise that would allow most beaches to keep their fire pits, while cities like Newport Beach, whose residents called for their removal, could also opt to get rid of the rings.
The non-binding Assembly Concurrent Resolution 52 recognizes the "cultural significance of fire rings on state beaches as part of California's recreational and community activity, and beach lifestyle."
It was cosigned by 59 other legislators who supported its call for continued beach access and recreation.
"Activities such as beach bonfires are a beloved pastime that is a safe and inexpensive recreational activity enjoyed by all the members of our community," Allen said in a statement. "I am honored to join my fellow legislators in honoring our beaches and the timeless community pastimes that our beaches provide."
— Jill Cowan