Fires are permitted at beaches where there are proper fire rings and/or controlled, designated areas. Otherwise, fires are not permitted on the beach. The primary reason fires are prohibited on the sand is because smoldering embers can become buried and superheat the sand. Many people will attempt to extinguish illegal beach fires by throwing sand over the top of them. The sand acts as an insulator of heat and can remain extremely hot for hours after the fire has been extinguished. It is possible to receive severe burns from hot sand left over from a fire the night before. Always extinguish camp fires with ample water before leaving them unattended.

At many beaches, there is also a high fire risk due to dry shrubbery on the hills and sand bordering the beach. Glowing embers can be blown onshore by westerly winds and start brush fires. It is extremely important to have all fires and barbeques in the proper designated areas, and to keep the flames at a modest level to avoid the risk of the fire spreading out of control.