Pallet fires banned on Kenai beaches

By the middle of next summer, pallet fires will be illegal on Kenai’s beaches. On Wednesday the Kenai city council unanimously approved a ban on pallet fires — which can leave the sand strewn with nails and screws that might pop tires and pierce feet — which will become effective on July 1, 2018.

The ban on pallet burning was originally brought by Kenai administrators for the city council’s vote at their last meeting on Sept. 20. At that meeting, council member Tim Navarre successfully moved to postpone a vote, saying the nail problem should be addressed with a public education campaign rather than a ban.

This time around, Kenai administrators offered a substitute ordinance. In addition to delaying the ban’s effective date until July 2018, it replaced the original’s proposed penalty for pallet-burning — a flexible fine of up to $500, to be set in a mandatory court appearance — with a fixed fine of $50.

On Wednesday, Navarre said the substitute’s delayed start addressed his concerns by providing time for public education before starting enforcement. Kenai City Attorney Scott Bloom wrote in an attached memo that Kenai administrators plan to “provide adequate notice to the public” of the ban with signs and city website postings, as well as through the smartphone application the city introduced this year for disseminating information to dipnet fishery participants.

Navarre said that in the future, he might favor allowing pallet burning again if the leftover nails can be contained.

“Hopefully our city can create some gazebos, or pits, or rings, for people to actually be able to have fires on the beach,” Navarre said. “At that point, it’s possible that some material in a fire pit can have some metal if it has to. But we want to discourage that, and certainly where it can be up and down the beach and not be controlled in any one or two particular spots.”

Kenai Mayor Brian Gabriel agreed, saying “it might be worth looking at having a designated place down there to burn pallets.”

Reach Ben Boettger at ben.boettger@peninsulaclarion.com

More in News

Shawn Dick of Talkneetna carries a fresh catch out of the water while dipnetting on the Kenai Beach on July 10, 2020. (Peninsula Clarion file)
Kenai River dipnetting opens this month

The Kenai River personal use dipnet fishery opens July 10

The sun is seen shining above the Kenai River in Soldotna, Alaska, on July 14, 2020. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clario file)
When the temperature hits 70, Alaskans feel the heat — and start suffering health ills

Acclimatization, the angle of the sun at high latitudes and other factors make summer heat more intense in Alaska

A map shows active fires around the state of Alaska on Friday, July 1, 2022. (Screenshot from Alaska Wildland Fire Information Map)
Fire danger prompts restrictions on burning, fireworks

There were 160 fires in Alaska as of Thursday, and of those 17 were staffed with fire personnel

Jessica Cook, left, and Les Gara are photographed in The Peninsula Clarion’s offices Thursday in Kenai. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Gara, Cook campaign on the Kenai Peninsula

The pair cited education funding, reproductive rights and election security as priorities

A map shows the Seward Highway MP 17-22.5 Rehabilitation Project area. The Seward Highway between Mileposts 17 and 22.5 — from about Primrose Campground to near Teddy’s Inn The Woods — will be closed from 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesday starting July 18, 2022. (Screenshot)
Roadwork in Moose Pass to shut parts of Seward Highway

The Seward Highway between Mileposts 17 and 22.5 will be closed from 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesday starting July 18

Former Homer High School athletic director poses on Friday, July 1, 2022, at the high school athletic field in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Work ethic, grit and teamwork

After two decades, Homer athletic director says goodbye to program he helped build

Assembly members participate during a meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Another renewable energy company seeks to set up peninsula solar farm

Utopian Power wants to build a two-megawatt solar farm on a 40-acre chunk of land owned by the borough

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID hospitalizations up from last week

Hospitalization data is the most effective indicator of the prevalence of the virus

Most Read