Huntington Beach May Ban Fire Pits

Published May 22, 2013

The Indie band Best Coast praises Los Angeles (and the South Bay) in general in its song “The Only Place.”  The song is notable for California’s freedom and carefree life under sun and sand.  As a native of Hermosa Beach, I can tell you that California is doing everything it can to make the state the last place anyone wants to live.

The Monday, May 20, 2013 edition of the Wall Street Journal (page A6), reports that Huntington Beach may ban fires on the beach because of the harm such fires cause to air quality.  Moreover, apparently, these dreaded “air polluting” fire-pits cause increases in eye, nose, and throat irritation as well as incidents of asthma.  There are also supposed reports of increased hospital admissions due to the smoke emitted from these fires.

Supporters of the ban on outdoor beach fires, including the South Coast Air Quality Management District, claim that these fires emit the equivalence of a diesel truck driving 564 miles.  However, as noted by KTLA (above video), these studies rest on dubious evidence.

Based on such flimsy evidence, we might as well claim that perfume or cologne is an air polluting, public health matter!

California is famous for its beach culture.  That culture was lived not only by me, but my mother who graduated from Redondo High in the 50s.  In the 1950s-60s surfers and beach lovers would spend the day in the water and sunning on the sand.  While watching the beautiful sunset, families would strike up fires on the beach and cook their dinner, while friends and family listened to songs played on Ukeleles.  If the health was really a concern, the South Coast Air Management District could surely find something that actually harms the public health.  Sadly, Southern California is not becoming a healthy place to live; it is becoming a place harmful to human happiness.