Monterey County

Big changes could be coming to curb bonfires at Carmel Beach

City looking to make beach safer

CARMEL, Calif. - As the sun goes down, you'll start to see more and more bonfires light up the night sky.

The Carmel mayor says because other beaches on the Central Coast have bonfire bans, people flock to Carmel Beach. The idea is not to stop that from happening but to make sure the beach is safe.

Dane Holmgren learned about the art of the bonfire four years ago with a group of fellow freshman at Cal State Monterey Bay.

"Ever since then I'm doing multiple bonfires per year," Holmgren said.

But the city's Forest and Beach Commission is working to keep the fires going while keeping the beach aesthetically pleasing. That starts with finding a way to enforce the existing rules when putting out the fire. The rule is not to put it out with sand but instead use water.

Although sand will put the flames out, the coals are still hot enough to burn your feet.

"Yeah we've definitely stepped on old bonfires before and that's not fun," Holmgren said.

Some ideas include putting in propane fires, limiting the number of fires or adding fire pits. It's all in the preliminary stages, the mayor said.

"Sometimes here you'll get a lot of tourists that don't know the protocol," Holmgren said. "They could be getting smoke in other people's camps."

But for now the burnt wood will be a reminder of a night Holmgren and the rest of his friends shared together.

For a full list of the current beach rules CLICK HERE.


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