Newport Beach has concrete fire rings at the beach in two areas: there are 27 fire rings located on Corona del Mar State Beach and 33 fire rings located near the Balboa Pier. Some of the fire rings are located on state property (Corona del Mar), and all of the fire rings are located in the coastal zone. The fire rings are appreciated by many who visit, but also result in extensive and often daily wood smoke released in adjacent residential areas. While many beachgoers come to the beach to enjoy a beach bonfire, others come to the beach for volleyball and other activities, expecting the beach to be smoke-free.
February 7, 2012
The Newport Beach Parks, Beaches and Recreation (PB&R) Commission reviewed issues related to the City’s beach fire rings and examined options for remedying these concerns. After hearing public comment from residents and others concerned about the health impacts related to the burning of wood and other materials in the fire rings, the commission voted 4-3 to recommend that the City Council act to remove all beach fire rings located in Newport Beach.
March 13, 2012
The PB&R commission’s recommendation for removal of all fire rings was brought before the Newport Beach City Council for consideration. Approximately 30 citizens individually addressed the Council. Approximately two-thirds of those speakers were in favor of seeing the fire rings removed. They also referenced health and safety concerns, particularly the air quality hazards related to the smoke produced by fires burned in the rings. Approximately one third of the citizens present spoke in favor of retaining the fire rings, primarily citing the importance of having places for families and community groups to gather, barbecue and enjoy a campfire. The City Council voted 7-0 in favor of upholding the PB&R Commission’s recommendation and directing City staff to take the necessary steps to remove the sixty (60) fire rings at Big Corona and the Balboa Pier areas. To view the City Council staff report, please click here. Scroll to item #16, "Balboa and Corona del Mar Fire Rings" and select Staff Report.
Following the Council’s action, the City staff will examine the steps needed to remove the fire rings, which may or may not include additional review by other agencies. The timeline for this is yet to be determined.
For More Information
The City Council staff report (see access instructions above) will provide background information on this issue and includes supporting materials. If you would like further information, please contact the Recreation & Senior Services Department at 949-644-3151. If you wish to share your opinion on this matter with the City Council, please e-mail CityCouncil@newportbeachca.gov or call 949-644-3005.