One resident wants to remind people to clean up their beach fires after she says her dog was given second-degree burns when it walked over unattended hot coals.
“It was level with the ground, you couldn’t tell that it had been a fire,” said Liz Greggain of Roberts Creek, whose dog, Tiny the shih tzu recently burned a paw walking along the beach. “[He] walked over it and my husband smelled smoke and saw the dog jumping out of it. There was actually ash, live ash, coming off his foot.”
According to the family, there were no rocks lining the unattended fire.
The dog was still wearing bandages when Greggain spoke to Coast Reporter on Aug. 20, approximately two weeks after the incident.
His painful injury has meant trips to the vet and sleepless nights for the family, she said.
She was concerned that concealed unattended beach fires could pose a threat to children as well.
“Be aware that it could still be hot and be aware that there are definitely beach fires going on,” Greggain said. “Some of them don’t have rocks around them so you can’t tell. Just be aware.”
Beach fires are presently allowed in the region so long as they are kept small and below the high-water mark.
Pat Higgins, a lieutenant with the Roberts Creek volunteer fire department, called the incident inappropriate.
“No one should walk away from a fire unless they can put their hand in it,” he said. “You roll the stuff around and if it’s too hot to put your hand in, you shouldn’t be leaving it.”