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Fire Rings Fruit Cake Bingo!

Some of you are wondering... has this site been taken over by a bunch of anti-fire rings fanatics? I'm still checking my web logs, but in the meantime, let me fire one last shot across the bow! Soon I'll be…

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Commission Recommends Clean Air

In Newport Beach last night a divided Parks, Beaches and Recreation Commission voted to recommend to the City Council the removal of all beach fire rings.

It was a raucous session with several residents interrupting Commissioner Roy Englebrecht at one point as he proposed converting the wood burning fire rings to natural gas; the clean burning fuel would remove a major concern of the residents: the airborne carcinogens in the smoke. Trying a different tact, Commissioner Anderson implied that without a full scientific inquiry, the residents’ complaints of ash sticking to their patio furniture might prove to be the rubber from tire wear, as an investigation of the area surrounding the John Wayne airport apparently once found. These subterfuges would not deter the majority of the Commission members who voted 4 to 3 to send their recommendation to the City Council: complete removal of the fire rings.

Wave goodbye? Pallets are particularly poisonous when burning

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The Fire Rings Delusion

On a cold night, most people consider a well-tended fire to be one of the more wholesome pleasures that humanity has produced. A fire, burning safely within the confines of a fireplace or a woodstove, is a visible and tangible source of comfort to us. We love everything about it: the warmth, the beauty of its flames, and—unless one is allergic to smoke—the smell that it imparts to the surrounding air… I am sorry to say that if you feel this way about a wood fire, you are not only wrong but dangerously misguided.

Just this week UCLA neuroscientist and author Sam Harris published his “Fireplace Delusion“. It comes at a good time; just as the Newport Beach Parks, Beaches & Recreation Commission is set to review the beach fire rings.

As a cyclist, I’m gulping air as I pedal around town. I’m riding for my health and often ride the coastal routes, thinking the air is cleaner there. I’ve lived here 14 years and as I do the math I wonder to what extent I’ve shortened my life by breathing smoke-filled air from the Big Corona fire rings.

There are 27 of these smoke-belching fire pits just a hundred yards from my home. No pity for the poor people who live at the beach, you say? The carcinogens from these wood burning rings float all over Orange County, poisoning us all.

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