Assembly OKs bill to allow Calif. beach bonfires

Huntington Beach fire pits.
Huntington Beach fire pits.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

The state Assembly has approved legislation that would preserve the Southern California tradition of bonfires on the beach, despite concerns that they can contribute to air pollution.

Lawmakers on Monday approved AB1102, jointly authored by Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen of Huntington Beach and Democratic Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva of Fullerton.

The legislation arose after Newport Beach proposed removing 60 fire pits from city beaches. It will require the South Coast Air Quality Management District to work with local governments and other oversight agencies before removing fire rings in Orange and Los Angeles counties.

Allen said he wanted to protect an "affordable, iconic activity" for those who cannot afford multimillion-dollar beach homes.

Lawmakers approved the bill on a 54-0 vote. The legislation now heads to the state Senate.