Tomorrow marks the beginning of the first No-Burn season at Ocean Beach. From November 1st to February 28th, the fire pits will be removed, and fires will be prohibited.
"We want to give it a rest for air quality reasons," explained Nathan Hale Sargent of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), which manages Ocean Beach. "It’s a chance for us to be good stewards for the beach."
The no-fire season coincides with the winter Spare the Air season from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, which monitors air quality in the Bay. During the winter months, wood burning in the Bay Area often leads to an increase in particulate matter pollution.
Since winter is the rainy season, it sees the lowest number of visitors to Ocean Beach, according to Sargent. During the break, park officials will "give the fire pits a real thorough cleaning."
People who might feel inclined to thwart the ban will run the risk of citation, as beach fires are only allowed in the fire pits. The GGNRA has been working with SF Rec & Park nearly every day to educate Ocean Beach visitors, said Sargent.
Once the no-burn season ends on March 1st, the GGNRA will welcome visitors back to the fire pits. "This isn’t goodbye, it’s see you later," said Sargent. "We all hope they come back on March 1st."