Orange County supervisors may push for local cities to decide if they want to ban beach bonfires

Jeff Johnson/Flickr (Creative Commons-licensed)

A lifeguard at a lifeguard tower at sunset in Newport Beach. The tradition of sitting around a bonfire at sunset may be banned from the beach.

Orange County supervisors could throw their support behind maintaining the Southern California tradition of beach bonfires as a possible ban looms.

The Los Angeles Times reports that a staff report for Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting recommends they oppose a broad ban and let cities decide for themselves whether to allow the fires.

RELATED: Newport Beach bonfires get a reprieve for now, but could be gone before summer

Residents of Newport Beach have pushed for removing the fire rings, saying the smoke is drifting into homes and causing health hazards.

Cities including Huntington Beach have opposed the move, saying they would lose parking and other revenues with fewer visitors.

The decision will fall to pollution regulators. The South Coast Air Quality Management District is expected to vote on a ban on May 3, and the California Coastal Commission plans its own vote after that.

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