Taking up the Torch



Tiki torches, barbecues, and fire pits banned in Laguna Beach. How absolutely absurd! Our freedom to entertain in the privacy of our own backyards has been reduced to ashes.


Building and fire safety codes are formulated over years of research by qualified professional fire safety authorities. And who wrote this amendment to the city of Laguna Beach fire code? I inquired with our City Council, building department, city clerk, and city manager about who authored this piece of legislation.  Answer was: we don’t know.


There are no documented cases of fires caused by tiki torches, barbecues, or fire pits in Laguna Beach.  The Orange County Fire Authority has no issues with these devices either.  Fires in this town are caused by faulty electrical wiring and candles in bedrooms.


David Wilson’s editorial “Double Standards?” (Letters, Dec. 24) hit the nail on the head when he referred to our City Council as a “nanny state”. What is actually taking place is totalitarian rule, which recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life.


Matt Lawson’s editorial “Dousing the Tiki Torch Tempest” (also Letters, Dec. 24) on the other hand is based on his own fear and greed. It is not based on fire safety issues or insurance. He owns a McMansion in a high fire zone. I would be happy to instruct Matt on how to douse a tiki torch but I’m afraid he might like it.


One of Matt Lawson’s proponents is David Horne of Emerald Bay, chairman of the Greater Laguna Coast Fire Safety Council. When asked at the city council meeting about the requirements of the new fire code in his neighborhood, David’s reply was “I don’t even know.”




Our mayor, Toni Iseman, wants to add outdoor heaters to the list. Her fear is that a leaf will fall from the sky and land on a heater then fly off into the wilderness park and cause a major fire.  Wow again.


Are burning candles next?


I think it is time to put this City Council out to pasture.  Their tiki torch went out a long time ago.  I want this fire code repealed.


Bruce R. White, Laguna Beach

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