Make good choices! Where is the line, do you try to stop people outright and make certain activities illegal, or regulate and provide safe access because you know they’re going to do it anyways? On a side note – I’m not quite sure I understand why a campfire in the middle of a provincial park surrounded by trees is allowed, when one on the beach surrounded by sand and water (both proven fire suppressants by the way) is not.
Students’ idea ignites opposition from fire department
ALTHOUGH OUTDOOR FIRES fuelled by wood are illegal in Vancouver, a group of students is starting a “public conversation” about changing this on the city’s shores. The Vancouver Campfire Project proposes the introduction of designated fire pits on local beaches.
Robert Morton, a global resource systems student at the University of British Columbia, told the Georgia Straight that Calgary, Edmonton, San Francisco, and Seattle all have public fire pits at parks or beaches.
“It’s not a crazy idea,” Morton said in an interview at the Yaletown Farmers Market. “We’re not trying to do something that’s never happened before. These cities are already all doing it. Why can’t Vancouver also do this in a controlled, safe way?”
Hatched at CityStudio, an “innovation hub” that brings together students and city staff, the Campfire Project has submitted to city hall a plan for a summer pilot program involving one fire pit at Jericho Beach. Ultimately, Morton—along with Stuart Dow and Peggy Wong, geography students at Simon Fraser University and UBC, respectively—envisions anywhere from four to 12 fire pits being installed at Jericho, Locarno, Spanish Banks West, and Third beaches.
With a $500 NeighbourMaker grant from the Museum of Vancouver, the Campfire Project staged two events last week to raise awareness of its proposal. Morton and Wong noted that the fire pits would be “bring your own wood”, ringed by river rocks, and located on sand with no seating. They would be situated at least 300 metres from the closest home, have washrooms in the vicinity, and be visible from the nearest road. Signage would outline the relevant regulations and make it clear the fire pits are communal.
“The whole point is that they’re shared,” Wong told the Straight at the farmers market. “The idea is that people will just come and have firewood, and then other people will come and join.”