NEWPORT BEACH ( — The California Coastal Commission postponed a final decision Wednesday on whether officials can remove fire rings along the Newport Beach shoreline.

The Commission met in San Diego to discuss the city’s request for permission to remove 33 fire rings near Balboa Pier and another 27 rings on a stretch of Corona del Mar State Beach.

However, the panel ultimately voted to put off the decision pending analysis by the South Coast Air Quality Management on potential health impacts of the rings, which are often used for bonfires by beach-goers.

California Coastal Commission postpones decision on Newport Beach fire rings until Air Quality Board can weigh in on health impacts.

Some beachfront residents have complained of thick smoke from the fire rings that occasionally set off alarms in neighboring homes, while other critics have voiced concerns that the smoke poses a public nuisance.

City Councilwoman Nancy Gardner told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO she disagrees with claims that it’s an effort to keep away outsiders.

“We have people at our beaches from out of town from 6 a.m. on, and whether we have fire rings or not, they will be coming, and we will be welcoming them,” Gardner said.


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