Fires on Ocean Beach, a tradition who knows how old, are in the words of their advocate Tom Price "one of the last free things that people can do in San Francisco." But Price, a representative of Burners Without Borders, has had to fight to keep them that way. A Golden Gate National Recreation Area proposal to require $35 per-use permits for groups of any size was floated last year and looked to be a go. Now, thankfully for Price and pyromaniacal revelers, that plan has gone up in smoke. The National Recreation Area confirms to SFist that fires will remain free to the public.
However, there is one catch. The agency will introduce a winter "rest" period, banning fires completely from November through February. The logic for that plan, according to one Recreation Area spokesperson, is "mostly because those days are Spare the Air days." It's also conceivable that the rest period will be reviewed yearly.
According to the Promethean Price, it was public outcry and "vehement opposition" that beat back the proposal. The permit fees were to go to fire pit maintenance and "outreach and education," as well as more fire rings. Well, it sounds like we're getting some of those anyway: Price says we can expect more rings, roughly a 50 percent increase to 16 of them, as well as extended hours.