Changes to Ocean Beach Fire Program - Revised Pilot Program Proposed

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Date: April 21, 2014
Contact: Alexandra Picavet, 415-786-8021
Contact: Howard Levitt , 415-561-4730

The National Park Service is proposing changes, including a new curfew at 9:00PM, to the beach fire program at Ocean Beach to address the persistent unsafe conditions stemming from the activity. A complete description of the revised program and the reasons why this action is being proposed can be found on the internet at

Current problems 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

The lack of compliance with the posted regulations for fires on Ocean Beach is impetus for a reassessment of the program. The National Park Service strives to maintain a clean and safe beach for all visitors while allowing for recreational activities like this.

The proposed changes in the program are based on a pilot program that was initially developed by the National Park Service and several community groups in 2007. After implementation, the program has continued with minor changes to this day but has not resulted in any significant improvement in conditions or compliance, and the cost of supporting the program has become unsustainable.

The Revised Pilot Program would include minor changes to the existing fire program, implement monitoring and data collection, a public outreach and education campaign, and would utilize success indicators to determine whether or not the program changes were successful. The revised program is proposed to be implemented starting Memorial Day weekend (May 23, 2014) and continue through Labor Day (September 1, 2014).Once the data collected during the Revised Pilot Program is evaluated, the National Park Service will determine next steps for the Ocean Beach fire program, which may include continuing the revised pilot program, making further program modifications, or no longer allowing fires on the beach.

How to review and comment on the proposal:

The Ocean Beach Fires Revised Pilot Program document will be available on the web at for review and comment from April 21 - May 16, 2014. Comments may also be submitted in hardcopy by mailing comments to Frank Dean, General Superintendent, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Building 201, Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA 94123-0022

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