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Are beach fire pits hazardous to your health and environment? (Photos, Poll)




Jerry Wymore, Paige Brown, Sabrina Fuentes, and Nick Kern of Apple Valley roast marshmallows on Thursday evening, June 6, at a fire pit on Huntington Beach.
Jerry Wymore, Paige Brown, Sabrina Fuentes, and Nick Kern of Apple Valley roast marshmallows on Thursday evening, June 6, at a fire pit on Huntington Beach.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Jerry Wymore, Paige Brown, Sabrina Fuentes, and Nick Kern of Apple Valley roast marshmallows on Thursday evening, June 6, at a fire pit on Huntington Beach.
Local air regulators want to regulate beach fire rings, while some Orange County cities are fighting the proposal.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Jerry Wymore, Paige Brown, Sabrina Fuentes, and Nick Kern of Apple Valley roast marshmallows on Thursday evening, June 6, at a fire pit on Huntington Beach.
Beachgoers play Bocce Ball at Huntington Beach on Thursday evening, June 6. Residents of Newport Beach support the ban and are trying to remove 60 rings in the city used for bonfires.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Jerry Wymore, Paige Brown, Sabrina Fuentes, and Nick Kern of Apple Valley roast marshmallows on Thursday evening, June 6, at a fire pit on Huntington Beach.
Zachary Martin, Danielle Dalton and Dane Johnson of Rancho Cucomonga and Kyle Lucas of Newport Beach often spend the day at Huntington Beach and have a bonfire in the evening.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Jerry Wymore, Paige Brown, Sabrina Fuentes, and Nick Kern of Apple Valley roast marshmallows on Thursday evening, June 6, at a fire pit on Huntington Beach.
High school friends pose for a group picture at the Huntington Beach fire pits on Thursday evening, June 6. The South Coast Air Quality Management District says the fires release emissions that are harmful to the environment.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Jerry Wymore, Paige Brown, Sabrina Fuentes, and Nick Kern of Apple Valley roast marshmallows on Thursday evening, June 6, at a fire pit on Huntington Beach.
Toby Bender of Lakewood, left, and his friends have a bonfire on Thursday evening, June 6. Officials from the California Coastal Commission say the fire pits are a tradition and an important free amenity at Southern California beaches.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Jerry Wymore, Paige Brown, Sabrina Fuentes, and Nick Kern of Apple Valley roast marshmallows on Thursday evening, June 6, at a fire pit on Huntington Beach.
The Huntington Beach Pier is located near the fire pits that are free to beachgoers.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Jerry Wymore, Paige Brown, Sabrina Fuentes, and Nick Kern of Apple Valley roast marshmallows on Thursday evening, June 6, at a fire pit on Huntington Beach.
Shumei Wong of Anaheim, left, Prezly Espeseth of Yorba Linda, and Hannah Knight of Orange spend time with friends at a bonfire at Huntington State Beach.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Jerry Wymore, Paige Brown, Sabrina Fuentes, and Nick Kern of Apple Valley roast marshmallows on Thursday evening, June 6, at a fire pit on Huntington Beach.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and many Orange County residents are in support of keeping the fire pits. Local air regulators say the burning wood produce carcinogens similar to that of smoking a pack of cigarettes or inhaling diesel engine fumes.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Jerry Wymore, Paige Brown, Sabrina Fuentes, and Nick Kern of Apple Valley roast marshmallows on Thursday evening, June 6, at a fire pit on Huntington Beach.
Thomas Ohanesian and Erik Fuog of Yorba Linda cook hot dogs at a fire pit on Huntington Beach.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC


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How harmful to your health are beach fires? That question has been at the center of an intense debate in several Southern California cities. 

After first proposing an outright ban, the South Coast Air Quality Management District — or AQMD — is now considering restrictions it says will make beach fires safer. But as KPCC's Ben Bergman reports, there's disagreement about just how unhealthy the fires really are.