GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - If you love sitting around a fire with friends but don't love the hassle of dragging firewood to the beach you're in luck. A new business called Bonfires On The Beach launched last week and is the focus of WLOX's "American Made in Mississippi" segment.
Owner John Hurst said the idea behind Bonfires On The Beach came from a conversation with a friend about how to make it easier on people wanting to have a bonfire. Hurst said he wants to provide a service, but do it in a way that keeps our environment clean.
Whether it's getting wood or pulling a permit, people can't just show up on the beach and have a bonfire without doing any legwork. That is unless they've called Bonfires On The Beach.
"We do all the paperwork. Pull all the permits. Do all the setup," said Hurst.
"All you have to do is come out and light the fire. Have a good time. When you're done, walk away. We'll come back and do the cleanup."
Proper cleanup and being environmentally friendly is important to Hurst. That's why his business is very selective about the type of wood used for bonfires.
"It's generally oak, hardwood. We don't want to burn any pressure treated lumber. We don't want to burn anything that's got a chemical on it or anything that's got nails or any metal in it."
"One of the things that we do out here is we want to keep the beach clean. We don't want any litter. We don't want any broken glass."
Right now, Bonfires On The Beach is only utilizing the permanent pits on the beaches. However, owners said plans are underway that will allow customers to have their bonfires anywhere along Harrison County's 26 miles of sand.
"Right now we're just using the pits but we're putting together some mobile pits so we can do fires anywhere along the beach."
"There are a lot of different things that are coming for this. We're talking about for a few extra dollars leaving a set of horseshoes behind if you're going to be out here before it gets dark and you want to throw some horseshoes. Maybe setting up some volleyball nets. There's a lot of things we've got in the mix that we're planning on so it's going to be a good thing."
Customers can also pay for a staff member from Bonfires On The Beach to stay and maintain the fire during their gathering.