Category Archives: Coronado Fire Rings

City of Coronado Overlooking Cleanup of Fire Debris

Two days ago we captured with video the destruction of the City of Coronado’s Beach showing trash and fire debris left behind by a combination of careless beachgoers and a complete lack of law enforcement. Today we went back to enjoy the beach yet again during the morning time but were faced with seeing that the fire debris was not cleaned up! Under the inept City Management of Blair King, beach cleanup crews picked up trash and emptied trash cans but did not cleanup fire debris anywhere on the beach that we identified in the video of August 17, 2015.

So here it is folks, here’s what they have been allowing to happen, here’s how they care for the the City of Coronado’s number one resource, Coronado Beach. For two years now have been documenting what is going on and they still don’t ‘get it.’ The video and pictures don’t lie, please take the time to watch both videos to see what is happening to the beach/sand environment.

What does this say about Coronado City Council and City Manager Blair King’s priorities and values when they continue to allow beach fires to be burned inside and outside of fire rings, and all up and down the beach? What is the purpose of having fire rings when they are allowing so many fires to burn outside of the fire rings against Coronado Municipal Code fire ring ordinance? Go on, take a look at the videos, the evidence is there. Mind you, our documentation efforts have been focused on the North Beach area since we have time to canvas only that area. It is a big beach and it takes time to shoot, edit, process and upload video. We’re not even capturing all of the damage that is being done, but the videos in this post are definitely representative of the destruction that is being allowed on daily/weekly basis. Fire must now be banned from the beach to preserve the natural sand quality. Char is being allowed to be mixed in at an alarming rate. You can go to the North Beach fire rings area and see areas of sand that are reddish or ashen in color now, and the general area’s sand color is being altered. This is not how you treat a No.1 resource that consistently gets rated highly as being one of the best beaches to visit! You can see all of the videos here.

Judging by the turnout (approximately 80 people ) at last night’s Coronado City Council meeting, it is becoming overwhelmingly apparent that residents are fed up with the City Council’s obvious focus and priority of putting ‘visitors over residents’ with wanting to spend $100,000 on studying the Multi-use shared Bike Path. The large turnout was greatly improved with efforts by Save Our Beach Coronado. We only hope that residents also see the related destruction of the beach with trash and fire debris out of control and show equal passion for keeping the sand clean, safe, and liability free.

August 19th, 2005

August 17, 2005


Coronado Beach Fire Rings – Ordinance Not Enforced

*Short videos below

It has been a little over a year since we last reported on the Coronado Beach fire rings issue. Due to our video and photographic documentation along with promptings from concerned citizens at Coronado City Council meetings, the City responded in the Spring of 2014 with updating ordinances and signage over fires at the beach, adding that wood must be ‘clean wood’ with no metal, and not allowing fire material to exceed 12″ inches above the lip of the fire ring or receptacle that a fire is burning in. To help with enforcement, for the Summer of 2014 they hired Elite Security, stationing one security guard at North Beach to keep beachgoers from taking pallets and other wood with metal to the fire rings. They also provided a dumpster placed by the end of the rocks there for debris that isn’t allowed to be burned to be deposited.

This brought some improvement over the Summer but throughout the Summer and for the remainder of the year we were still seeing fires outside of the fire rings, firewood being burned that isn’t allowed under the new ordinance, and plenty of nails both inside and outside of the fire rings. We believe that a lack of enforcement and poor city management is the main reason why. The following videos demonstrate that effective enforcement is not happening. Beach cleanup crews are not to blame, poor law enforcement and poor city management are to blame. Before the new ordinance additions, Coronado Police Department told us that their hands were tied, that they couldn’t enforce ‘unclean wood’ (with metal, paint, varnishes) because there was nothing in the ordinance that allowed them to. Now what is their excuse?

Recently, on June 15, 2015 we contacted Coronado Police Department dispatch and made a verbal complaint of there being 3-4 pallets (not burning) at the first fire ring at North Beach. They said that they would send Officers to that area, and they did. We returned about 30 minutes later to find that after the Officer(s) visited the fire rings that the pallets were still there. Why didn’t CPD have the beachgoers remove the pallets (with nails) from the beach? Later, on June 23, 2015 we communicated with Commander Ochoa from CPD in phone and email correspondence about this. Commander Ochoa followed up by checking dispatch recordings and responded by email saying,

Our officers were dispatched [June 15] 7:25 PM. And our (3) officers arrived at 7:29 PM. Officers made contact with several groups and advised them of the municipal code.  The groups were cooperative with us and thus were not cited for the violation.

The group(s) may have been cooperative but when we returned to North Beach the pallets were not removed, and we had seen CPD driving away from the beach. When we responded via email to Commander Ochoa and asked why the Officers did not have the pallets removed, we received no response. The Commander does not say or mention at all in his email comment above that the pallets were removed. Our opinion is that they are not enforcing the ordinances over the fire rings area and you can see evidence of our claim in the videos below that show a chronology of violations of the fire rings area. We didn’t document every day that we could, that isn’t possible in our busy, daily life, but we can tell you that we have seen plenty more that we did not document. None of this should be happening, ever, if the ordinances were regularly enforced and if citations were written. In fact, not a single citation has been written at Coronado Beach in the past two years for beach fire violations. Coronado Police Chief Jon Froomin emailed us beach citation data spanning a period from 1-1-2013 to 1-10-2014 that contains two citations for camping on the beach, two for smoking, and one for glass, that’s it… and NONE for illegal fires or trashing the beach, or burning wood that isn’t ‘clean.’ How is it that we can have so much video of clear evidence of violations and not a single citation has ever been written over the fires? How hard is it to see a fire on the sand at night? Why isn’t CPD actively enforcing and citing those that light fires outside of the fire rings, and that bring wood down that has nails or other metal materials in it? It isn’t the beach cleanup crew’s job to enforce the new ordinances, they are there the next morning to clean up the mess. Lifeguards could help but that’s not their primary duty, and they are off the clock by nightfall. So that leaves Coronado Police Department to enforce the ordinances, day and night. Why aren’t they doing that? Why isn’t City Management on top of this? Their solutions to the problem are not working, the use of the fire rings and fires on the beach are out of control.

See Chronology of Videos Below:

#1 – September 14, 2014

#2 – September 14, 2014

#3 – September 14, 2014

September 30, 2014

#1 – October 7, 2014

#2 – October 7, 2014

June 9, 2015

June 15, 2015

* Stay tuned we have more recent videos being posted sometime soon.

Elite Private Security to Enforce Coronado’s New Fire Rings Ordinances?

The City of Coronado has decided to use the private security company Elite Security to patrol and enforce new Coronado Beach Fire Ring’s Ordinances instead of having Coronado Police Department do the work. Coronado Police Department is overseeing Elite Security and provides them with a phone to contact Coronado Police Department. They are scheduled to be there from 5pm to 11pm daily throughout the Summer.

Already, Elite Security is facing challenges from beach visitors at the fire rings. We spoke with one of their security guards at North Beach and the individual told us that they are facing people who are non-compliant and who are compliant but who later on in the evening pull illegal wood they were asked to remove from the fire rings, back down to the fire rings to burn. Illegal wood is being placed by the sidewalk and this now looks likes trash. The City of Coronado’s poor planning on this is causing the illegal wood to appear this way–they are providing no receptacle for Elite Security or Beach Visitors to deposit the illegal wood into.

We think it’s a bad idea to have private security to do the job that Coronado Police should be doing. At night, what if the one security guard they have down there each day is attacked in the dark by a hostile fire ring visitor?

What are your thoughts on this Coronado?

Q&A on the Fire Rings

Municipal Code: 48.04.120 Waste, refuse, etc. – Fires.

C. It shall be unlawful for any person to build, maintain, or kindle a fire on any public beach, except in a City provided fire circle, or except as otherwise provided herein. It shall also be permissible to build a fire in a portable barbecue or other similar device. The coals from said barbecue or device shall be deposited in an official fire circle or hot coal container. A fire in a fire circle or portable barbecue shall be used only to build beach fires for cooking or warmth, and it shall be unlawful to use the same as incinerators to burn rubbish and waste materials. The materials used for fires on the public beach shall not exceed a height of 12 inches above the upper edge of the fire circle or portable barbecue and shall be contained within the inside edge of the fire circle or portable barbecue.

D. It shall be unlawful for any person to burn in any such fire circle, barbecue, or device landscape debris, paint, stain, sealer, wood preservative, cloth, rubber, metal (including nails and other hardware), asphalt, foam rubber, plastic, or any similar matter or material inconsistent with San Diego County Air Pollution Control District restrictions and leaving any type of solid residue other than ash.

E. It is unlawful for any person to abandon any lawful fire upon any beach area without first having extinguished the fire. The ashes thereof, however, shall not be covered. All unburned wood shall be removed or placed in trash cans or receptacles provided therefor, so that the beach is left in a clean, sanitary, and presentable condition.

Coronado City Council Votes on Regulations and Direction of Fire Rings

On January 7th Coronado City Council voted on Regulations and Direction of the fire rings. You can watch this section of the meeting and see what they and the Public had to say, and how they voted. Uh, we’re sorry Mayor Tanaka, it does require drastic action. We have two distinctly different Coronado’s, one during the Summer and one during the off-Summer season, and the chief difference is the number of people. Mayor Tanaka’s stand that the beach issues at had doesn’t need “drastic” action is a classic example of someone trying to cover up reality. Folks, this is your Mayor of the last five years! It has ONLY ever been his leadership and City Management’s leadership that has allowed the beach to be overrun as it has been. And no, Mayor Tanaka, this fire ring issue isn’t something that happened over just one Summer, it has been increasing problematically for a number of years… uhhh, specifically over your Mayoral position! To be most accurate, this Summer was the worst ever. Why did it take photos and video on Coronado Clean Beach to get their attention?! For many years, City Council and Management have been ignorant to caring for the beach. You got one thing right, Mayor Tanaka, there absolutely could be more enforcement, an improvement on enforcement. However, hiring what amount to be the equivalent of “Mall Security” isn’t the answer, and you voted on this basis? Yes, you heard that right, they voted for a vague, uncertain direction. Why so cheap Mayor Tanaka? Is it because you gave $330+ thousand dollars to the School District from the Public Funds while all this trashing of the beach was happening under your ignorance? Is it because you now want to put a full-time Coronado Police Officer at Coronado High School for security? Isn’t that the School District’s responsibility? What, do we have gang members now at Coronado High School?This is just the type of ineptitude Coronado Clean Beach has been exposing. What the City of Coronado needs is a full time Seasonal Team of Beach Law Enforcement Professionals like the City of San Diego has to be effective with the hordes of people that come to the beach, and they need to actually make contact with beachgoers all day and night, and write tickets, all so that beachgoers get the picture that they can no longer come to Coronado and do what they have been doing.

City Leadership Still Allowing Fires Outside of Fire Rings

Coronado City Council Leadership and Management is still allowing fires outside of the fire rings to occur. We’re proud of where we live but not when those responsible for keeping clean continue to allow others trash over and over. This latest coverage is nearby Coronado’s North Beach fire rings and happened about a month after Coronado City Management executed a beach cleanup action plan to cleanup the fire rings. When are they going to learn?

Coronado Cleans Fire Ring Debris?!

Coronado City Leaders and Management execute “action plan,” cleaning fire ring debris?! That’s right, right before Thanksgiving City Leaders created and executed an “action plan” to clean the North Beach Fire Rings area. If you think that the problem is solved, you’re wrong. There’s more to the story… we’ll have a new post with videos on this very soon.

Video > November 20, 2013 Rusty Nails in Sand

November 20, 2013-Coronado Fire Rings. Rusty nails in the sand still, now months after Coronado City Council was notified of this debris in the sand. The City Council Members and City Manager obviously do not go to the beach and inspect this stuff, ever, even after they have been notified. This is a direct reflection of their values, of how they value the beach. Well, Councilmember Barbara Denny gets it at least. Coronado City Councilmembers will however tour elite boat docks for a 2.7 million dollar remodel, or give the School District roughly $330,000 dollars when their hands are out, or spend 1.3 Million dollars on roundabout rings for traffic flow, but when it comes to beach safety and health, beach natural habitat health, they fall waaay short. They even cut back on beach cleanup crew staffing hours. They sure can plan to spend millions on elite pleasure infrastructure and give handouts to their buddy-employers (Mayor Tanaka is a Coronado High School teacher) that will serve only a small to medium fraction of Coronado citizens while ignoring the number one resource (Coronado Beach) Coronado has—they are inept at taking care of what they do have for recreation for the greater Public. So sad their values are so misaligned. Oh yah, let’s not overlook City Manager Blair King’s salary of about $193,000 a year. And he does what to keep Coronado Beach clean and safe?!?

Videos > October 30, 2013. Nails and Fire Debris Cleaned at Coronado Fire Rings Area? No.

Are the nails and fire debris cleaned as Mayor Tanaka indicated in the Channel 10News story that aired October 16, 2013? Here’s the second airing with Mayor Tanaka’s response. We don’t think so; you be the judge. What was unearthed were many nails from the sand outside of the fire rings and ten inches deep. This is what happens when neglectful, uncaring leadership and management is in charge of keeping the beach safe, healthy and clean. The videos here now represent three months worth of documentation and after Coronado City Council Members were shared the content. Make sure you don’t miss any of these.

Coronado City Council Funding Schools with Public Service Funds; Negligence, Creating Serious Liability Issue for Beach Visitors

The Coronado City Council is allowing a very serious liability issue to grow and fester out of control with seemingly little to no care or action to remedy the problem.

On September 3rd, 2013 the City Council voted to fund the Coronado Unified School District with Public Service Funds in the amount of $330,590. The School District has its own funding source separate from the City, but  a majority of the City Council voted to give money that would otherwise be used for improving City Public Services. Members of Coronado City Council also wants to spend about an additional $100k to fund a Coronado Police Officer at the School. State law restricts the City’s ability to directly subsidize educational services provided by the school district.

Mayor Casey Tanaka, and Councilmembers Mike Woiwode and Richard Bailey voted yes for these ill-fit expenditures, while Al Ovrum and Barbara Denny voted no against them. What is this City Council thinking? Where are their priorities? It appears they are completely out of touch—they can’t even manage their most valuable resource—keeping the beach clean and safe. One wonders if they even set foot on the number one resource that brings the most people to Coronado, summer after summer, year after year—the beach! Because of the absolute lack of beach trash ordinance enforcement, and because the City allows pallets (as well as other things such as kitchen cabinets) to be brought down to the fire rings, visitors and locals are at increased, continual risk for stepping on splinters, large two inch long nails, and other sorts of debris, as well as putting them at risk for being burned as many fires are left still burning through the morning, both inside fire rings and in many locations outside of designated fire rings.

The following posts on this website exhibit factual evidence over about a month long period of time from July through August where little to nothing was being cleaned up off of the beach. All throughout the Summer fires were allowed to burn outside of fire rings and these areas were trashed beyond belief as well. All any common sense person has to see is the picture of the pile of nails to know this is extremely dangerous, and creates a serious liability for the City!

All Departments and City Council Members have been notified and yet little to nothing is being done about the problem? This brings a very serious liability issue to visitors and local alike. We think City Council should each be fined $3000 (the amount posted at the beach) for allowing this to go on throughout the Summer—they are the biggest violator of the trash ordinance for allowing it to get so out of control!

Why aren’t the hundreds of thousands of dollars of Public Service Funds being directed to making the beach safe for all visitors? That money should NOT be going to the School District! What do you think?

Be sure and see the posts with picture and video evidence!

Coronado Fire Rings, cont. #4; September 5, 2013

Coronado Fire Rings, cont. #3; August 12, 2013

Coronado Fire Rings #1; July 31st, 2013.