Beach bonfire spat gets hot in Southern California

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP) — A proposal to ban bonfire pits on Southern California beaches has sparked fierce opposition from residents who say they don’t want to see a cherished family tradition extinguished.

The Southern California Air Quality Management District is proposing to snuff out all 840 fire pits on beaches in Los Angeles and Orange counties because of concerns about the health impacts of wood smoke.

Newport Beach residents raised the issue first and say smoke blows into their beachfront homes, sets off fire alarms and causes respiratory problems.

But nearby Huntington Beach is fighting back with a campaign called “Keep Your Mitts Off Our Pits.”

The city has 400 pits and says they are a critical part of Southern California beach culture that brings in $1 million in parking revenue annually.

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