Central Coast Living: Fun, fire-safe ways to get rid of your Christmas tree

Posted at 5:11 AM, Jan 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-04 07:11:50-05

Central Coast residents are familiar with year-round fire danger, especially after December’s massive Thomas Fire.

Dry Christmas trees can be serious fire hazards in your home.

As the holidays wrap up, there are a few fire-safe and fun ways to say goodbye to your Christmas tree.

Once all the lights and decorations have been taken off your tree, it’s important to properly dispose of it.

The Oceano Dunes is a popular spot to burn Christmas trees but park rangers warn you must follow some rules or risk a ticket.

First, only natural wood can be burned at the dunes so do not bring a Christmas tree with flocking to burn on the beach.

You may only burn trees in areas where campfires are allowed .

Fires cannot be bigger than 3×3 feet. Rangers suggest chopping up your tree ahead of time to avoid any problems with large fires.

Lastly, as with any campfire, keep a close eye on it and douse it with plenty of water afterward.

Over in Solvang, tree disposal is an entertaining and educational event.

The Christmas Tree Burn in Solvang is a beloved annual celebration, complete with music, food and safety lessons from local firefighters.

“Everyone brings their discarded Christmas trees and we bring them out and put them in one big pile,” said Tracy Farhard, executive director of Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau.

“The fire department takes the opportunity to share with you how quickly a Christmas tree can go up in smoke so we want to keep that safety thing going,” Farhard said. “The best thing is being able to all come together, thousands come together around this bonfire and there’s music and there’s food and it’s the largest, controlled, beautiful display of the end of the season.”

Multiple fire engines will be on scene to closely monitor the giant fire and keep it safe and fun for everyone.

You can add your Christmas tree to the big pile on the field of Old Mission Santa Ines until 4 p.m. Friday.

Be sure to come back later Friday evening to watch all the trees go up in flames.

Firefighters will set fire to the tree pile at 5 p.m. Friday. The event goes until 7 p.m.

Check out the following KSBY stories for more information and options for getting rid of your Christmas tree.