Help w/ Beach Bonfire


So sparks can’t fly beyond the beach?

Wildfires and the intense heat associated with these types of fires can send burning embers up into the air. Once airborne, these burning embers or firebrands can travel from one-quarter to one mile in the wind. If these embers land on a combustible source of fuel, new fires will be started.May 12, 2013


Knowing about fire behavior can protect your home from wildfire …


How un-aesthetically appealing.


As a former firefighter based in Monterey County in California, sparks can travel quite a ways and ignite foliage. One of the best known beaches in Monterey County is Pebble Beach which is surround by pine forests and the sand portion of the beach is not that extensive. I can attest that yes, fires can and do start at the beach embers will fly with the wind generated by the sea into the foliage.


Thank you, as a professional, for speaking up. As I mentioned above, we live at Lake Tahoe where fire is an almost constant danger. So perhaps we’re more conscious of the danger.


They look great at night. With fire in them. Plus they are a great way to gather with friends and enjoy the beach. Oh, and they’re perfectly legal as long as you’re in an area designated for them.

If they’re not your thing, that’s fine, but don’t yuck someone else’s yum and derail a thread. The OP was asking for suggestions for a gathering, not a lecture.

I totally get that, and we’ve had our share of fires down here in Southern California. I do not know of any, though, that were caused by these fire rings in legally designated areas.


I was unaware that OP was going to cook on one of those. And “yucking someone’s yum” in the cause of fire prevention seems a worthy cause. Sorry if you think personal preference is more important than fire prevention.


Hi @JeetKuneBao -

I love beach bonfires!

Non-food related tips:
Maybe some places will reserve pits. But if not, you need to get up at the crack of dawn to hold your pit spot, especially if it’s high-season, spring break, etc. We take shifts. “We” meaning the men. :relaxed:

Also, check crime statistics. A couple of those places on Cath’s list have an element. I’ve heard stories.

Have fun!


This will be a major issue in places like Tahoe and areas around Monterey Bay - tons of potential fuel. Not so in places like “The Pits” in LA. The Hyperion Plant, reclaimed dunes as a west buffer zone to LAX and LAX runway are east of these fire pits but don’t offer the right type of fuel for embers to ignite a major fire. And the size of embers is relatively insignificant, considering the size of the wood/Pine Mountain logs typically used in the fire pits, and the distance and elevation the embers would have to gain before reaching appropriate combustible sources. Your advice in general is fine. But in context of the fire pits typically located at some of the beaches in SoCal, the odds are insignificant - that’s why the fire pits have been at these beaches at least since the 60s.

With all due respect, your “advice” is being viewed as lecturing on a topic that doesn’t apply here. Therefore, you’re probably causing a lot more eye-rolling and “not again” moments than appreciation.


The oracle has spoken.


All of this back and forth yet no one has mentioned the obvious.

Assuming this bonfire is going down in LA/OC/SD counties - maybe it’s worth thinking about how those fire pits typically get put out at the end of each night?

I am pretty hygienecally fearless but I would not cook anything over a municipal bonfire pit. Just haul your Weber.





You piss in the ocean.

You throw sand in the pits.

Don’t be a heathen.


Hot cocoa and schnapps! I forgot all about that après ski treat. Good call. :slight_smile:


Uh… Melted ice from my Igloo cooler. How else? #getthymindoutofthyToto

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