You can have a fire that is safe and reasonable and enjoy it. However, if you veer off into a Burning Man status fire, or pile up driftwood for miles like you are trying to flag a search plane, the fire department is going to come a callin'. Like everything in life, temperance, responsibility and personal safety make a difference.
Also, do not cover the fire with sand, as it creates a dangerous situation for walkers on the beach who will step into the hot embers beneath which can last for hours.
Happy Bon Fire!
Sereno Group Real Estate
Santa Cruz, Ca.