By Jeffrey Schaub

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — People who visit San Francisco’s Ocean Beach will continue to be allowed to burn bonfires for free, and without a permit, but there will be restrictions on when they can burn.

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area officials had proposed a permit process with a $35 fee to help educate the public about beach fire safety.

“We’ve had children with third degree burns from having walked over what they thought was sand, and their foot went through into a smoldering fire that had been going for hours,” Alexandra Picavet of the GGNRA said.

But, city leaders balked at the plan. Free fires at the beach have been a part of San Francisco’s history as far as anyone remembers.

“But, they also said they would work with us, to make this a sustainable project that, hopefully will help us develop a core of ambassadors, or beach ambassadors, and volunteers that will help us clean the beach,” Picavet said.

The park also agreed to increase the amount of fire rings, from 12 to 16.  They are concrete pits along a one mile stretch of Ocean Beach.

But, there won’t be any fires allowed between November and February, as that is the time when the majority of Spare The Air days occur.

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