On Friday, May 23 new regulations went into effect for fires on Ocean Beach. This follows a proposal announced on April 21, 2014 to implement a Revised Pilot Program for fires at Ocean Beach. The Revised Pilot includes changes to the existing program in order to address growing concern about the unsafe conditions resulting from these fires, and the unsustainable level of staff effort required to ensure public safety and compliance with regulations. Public feedback was received through May 16, 2014.
Information about this Revised Pilot, which includes an impact assessment, response to public comments, amendment to the compendium, and copies of the data collection forms that will be used can be found on this webpage; click Document List on the left, then click on the document title to download.
Changes to the Fire Program:
- 12 new fire rings installed
- Fires must be extinguished at 9:00 PM
- Fires prohibited on all Spare the Air Days year-round
- Data will be collected on compliance with regulations
At the end of the Revised Pilot, once the data collected is evaluated, The National Park Service will determine the next steps for the fire program on Ocean Beach. Long term decisions could include continuing the revised pilot program, making further program modifications, or no longer allowing fires on the beach.
The program will be in place and monitored from Memorial Day weekend (May 23, 2014) to Labor Day (September 1, 2014).
The development and implementation of this Revised Pilot Program is in response to the park experiencing a high volume of law enforcement calls, criminal activity, daily accumulation of abandoned refuse, and injuries to visitors and staff as a result of lack of compliance with the posted fire regulations on Ocean Beach. Click this link to view the current beach fire regulations: http://www.nps.gov/goga/parkmgmt/fire_beachfireregs.htm
The most prevalent issues include:
-Unsafe and toxic materials being burned, such as treated wood and pallets, furniture, and trash.
-Dangerous materials such as broken glass, sharp metal, hot coals, and nails being left on the beach and scattered in the sand surrounding the fire rings
-Illegal activity, including consuming alcohol and illegal substances, disorderly conduct, assaults, underage intoxication, and other law enforcement incidents
-Glass containers (which are prohibited) on the beach
-Fires not being extinguished properly with water, leaving hot coals smoldering on the beach the morning after, which has caused serious injuries to unsuspecting visitors
-Unauthorized fires being burned outside of designated area and fire pits