Beach bonfires no longer will be allowed at Shell Street in Satellite Beach, but additional spaces have been opened at Pelican Beach Park.
The recommendation for the change came up at the regular City Council meeting Jan. 9 as an action item by City Manager Courtney Barker, “due to parking and smoke impacts to the businesses at Shell Street and several complaints from residents.”
Pappagallo’s Restaurant management had complained and even had rented the nearby bonfire for certain nights to ensure that a bonfire was not going to cause problems, she said.
The city has long allowed beach bonfires Nov. 1 to April 30 at certain sites for the non-refundable fee of $25. Only commercially-purchased, seasoned-dry firewood or Duraflame type products are permitted.
“The idea is that we want to keep the fires relatively small and all commercial firewood is the same length,’’ said Fire Chief David Abernathy.
Items strictly forbidden to be burned, and cause for immediate shut-down, include lumber, plywood, pallets, trees, Christmas trees or any wood that is painted, has nails or was pressure-treated. The use of flammable liquid or products to start the fire also is prohibited.
Other rules include that permit holders must be 18, present at all times and have extinguishment material – such as a bucket of water or sand and a shovel – available. All recreational fires must end by midnight.
“When we have several fires, I send somebody out to check each one to make sure they are all following the rules,’’ Abernathy said.
With the Shell Street changes, there still are a total of 25 designated fire pits in Satellite Beach.
“It’s a draw for our city and some weekends they are all being used. Some are walk-up sites with others with limited parking,’’ he said.