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OC beach fire pits: California Coastal Commission to decide on fate

March 6, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
The California Coastal Commission is set to vote on the fire pits near Big Corona Beach and the Balboa Pier on Wednesday.

The Newport Beach City Council has already voted unanimously to remove all 60 fire pits last year. They cited health concerns as the primary reason for the controversial decision. There are homes about 200 yards away from the pits, and residents say the smoke travels and affects those houses.

Another reason to do away with the pits is to save the $50,000 it costs every year to maintain them.

On the other hand, there are a lot of people who love the fire pits and flock specifically to the beaches to use them.

Since the pits are located on state beaches, the city of Newport Beach needs the OK from the California Coastal Commission before removing them. That process has hit a few delays, with the commission saying the city has not offered clear evidence that wood smoke is harmful to people.

The commission is set to announce its decision at a public hearing in San Diego Wednesday.