Sounding Off: Why should city ban fire pits and tiki torches?

I read with interest in the local papers that the Laguna Beach City Council adopted a new fire ordinance — despite the fact that none of the devices now planned for extinction have ever been known to cause a fire in Laguna Beach.

Talk about a "nanny state!" Are we next going to outlaw sidewalks because they could crack and someone could trip? Or how about ice cream: a known health hazard in that eating it too fast can cause one hell of a headache — and eating too much of it can make you obese. Firepits, tiki torches, wood burning pots and outdoor barbecues no more cause fires than spoons caused Rosie O'Donnell to be fat!

And the topper is that this idea was floated by David Horne from Emerald Bay, who does not have to live by the same rules he promulgates for the citizens of Laguna Beach. Why is that? Because Emerald Bay is not part of the city of Laguna Beach (but that is another story). Horne, chairman of an organization (The Greater Laguna Coast Fire Safety Council) with one member (David Horne) demands this of our city, but does not ask it of his own private enclave.

I suggest that this ordinance be repealed until either Emerald Bay becomes part of the City of Laguna Beach or Mr. Horne brings a copy of the CC&R's from Emerald Bay showing that they have adopted similar regulations. I have lived in Laguna Beach for nearly 30 years; and, as I recall (the ultimate irony in this situation) the fire from the canyon started the Emerald Bay fire which then spread to Laguna Beach. If our neighbors to the north don't think these rules are necessary, why should we?

David Wilson lives in Laguna Beach.

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