Today, Super Bowl Sunday, on my daily dawn Victoria Beach run, I observed the remnants of an open fire from the night before between the public stairs and Dumond Drive.
I saw a middle-aged man starting another one several feet from the first one. I tried to convince him to put it out and then safely remove the debris from both so people didn’t step on hot coals, not to mention start a neighborhood fire.
I carefully explained all of the ecological reasons why such fires were wrong, with debris winding up in the ocean during our seasonal high tides. He sullenly told me to buzz off.
So I ran home and after speaking with a 911 operator, I went back down, astonished to find officers already there!
Corporals Jason Farris and Paul Bixby were the responding patrol officers; they had parked their vehicles at both egress points. Both patiently tried to reason with this stubborn man.
Our LBPD has pledged to follow up with our fire department, get more clarification about these types of open beach, non-contained bonfires.
For those who don’t know it, these beach zones are in a grey area: Above mean high tide, technically it’s this man’s property, but his rights are not inviolate, this doesn’t 100% shelter owners, allow blanket irresponsibility. Public nuisance laws say that you can’t use or alter it to the diminishment of your neighbors.
Maybe we need to refine our beach ordinances to only allow them in concrete-lined bunkers within fenced off property, and that a working fire-dousing, pressurized water device must be within 25 feet.
Our police, firemen, and lifeguards, too, serve and protect us under a wide gamut of high pressured situations, many dangerous and life-threatening not just to the public but to themselves.
Many are extremely risky and require quick, flexible choice decisions; some are quite confrontational as we’re constantly reminded.
Although not a mass murder in progress, not the crime of the century, it was great to see that the LBPD takes all citizen reports seriously and responds without peer.
Community outreach Cpl. Farris should be publically applauded. I know Capt. Jason Kravetz, a community relations veteran himself, has a personal motto: “Proudly Serving Our Community.”
With all due respect, Capt. Kravetz, it’s we who are proud of you at times like this.
Roger E. Bütow, Laguna Beach