Park Party Crackdown

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The city of Oakland is cracking down on nighttime parties in  Joaquin Miller Park because they are a fire danger, Oakland Vice Mayor Jean  Quan and police and fire officials said today.

         Quan said the park, which is located above state Highway 13 in the  Oakland hills, "is an attraction for kids from all over the Bay Area to have  campfires and drink and do whatever teenagers do."      She said there are many parties in the park during the graduation  season and the summer.
         Quan, who was joined by police and fire officials at a news  conference at the park, said Joaquin Miller Park is "unique" because "it's a  500-acre forest in the middle of the city."
         City officials are concerned about campfires because they could  spark a forest fire, she said.
         Hikers occasionally find embers from campfires in the park and  there were at least three smoldering fires there last summer, according to  Quan.
         People who go to the park late at night face fines of up to $500  and could face fines of up to $1,000 if they start campfires, she said.
         Oakland police and fire officials said they will be conducting  increased patrols late at night to try to keep people out of the park.
         Quan, "We want to give a warning to young people" to stay out of  the park late at night.