Best Nocturnal Illuminations

Ocean Beach bonfires

There's something primal and pyrotechnically mesmerizing about the bonfires that light up Ocean Beach most every weekend night. Like a string of flickering lights, they stretch along the coast, illuminating the sky and the sand and acting as leaping, smoky beacons to the great wet beyond. Unfortunately, the bonfires have inspired more than a few incidents of neighborhood vandalism and environmental damage — a decision on banning fires altogether is expected in June. So the next time you host a bonfire, take note of the Ocean Beach fire policy as laid out by the National Park Service and build the fire only between Fulton and Lincoln. Don't dig a fire pit, don't burn anything but wood, and (yes, Mom) clean up after yourself, making sure the fire is completely extinguished with water. Lighting up the Pacific Coast is best when done in an environmentally responsible way.


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