FOLLOWUP: What else we’ve found out about Alki Beach’s new fire rings

(Monday photo courtesy Vlad Oustimovitch)

The arrival this past Monday of new, lockable fire rings at Alki Beach Park – replacing all seven of the old ones – raised some questions, and now we’ve received answers from Seattle Parks spokesperson Christina Hirsch:

*Policies for when they’re unlocked and locked? “The exact hours/procedures for locking the lids is being determined with staff. Currently, the lids are unlocked. We will post hours and procedure information on our website in the next couple of weeks once the information has been finalized.”

*Why were the old ones replaced? The closable lid “helps to put out the fire,” Hirsch says, adding “we also ask that folks douse their fire with water.” They hope the lockability “will help prevent fires on off-hours and prevent bonfires during burn bans.” And the previous ones “were old, rusty and beginning to fall apart.”

*How much did the new ones cost? “The new pits were designed and created in-house and are like the pits we installed at Golden Gardens Park. Each pit costs approximately $1,500 (not including delivery and installation).”

22 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: What else we've found out about Alki Beach's new fire rings"

  • zephyr April 25, 2018 (4:45 pm)

    So do they dig a hole and sink the “fire rings” into the sand?  Or do they stand this high all the time?  Seems that they would be nicer if they sat into the earth at least halfway.  Otherwise they appear to be more of a burn barrel than a fire ring.  I haven’t been to one of these recently, but years ago I attended a fire or two at Golden Gardens.  I thought they were lower into the ground.  

  • JanS April 25, 2018 (5:48 pm)

    zephyr…I think this picture is for display purposes…will probably be different when on the beach itself

    Of course, I’ve been wrong before ;-)

  • Bill April 25, 2018 (6:05 pm)

    Hopefully no one sits on a hot one.

  • 935 April 25, 2018 (7:29 pm)

    locking lids….$1,500…..

    lol Seattle.

    Hinges to be forge welded or rusted obsolete soon and the whole rigamarole rebuilt.

    Fact is stranger than fiction ’round these parts.

    • Also John April 26, 2018 (7:36 am)

      935….  You’ve never had metal work done before.  That is really cheap at $1,500.  My jaw dropped at how good a price the City got for those.  That’s very detailed work and would take days to fabricate and a high skill level.

      • Heather April 26, 2018 (12:34 pm)

        I agree. Those were an excellent buy. 

  • kg April 25, 2018 (7:31 pm)

    If those were $1500 then I have some $500 hammers and $2000 toilet seats for you.

  • Swede. April 25, 2018 (8:27 pm)

    I don’t know about ‘kg’ and ‘935’ but I’m a fabricator/welder and $1500 for those are cheap. Just do a check on current cost of steel and then ad on all the labor to cut, fit and weld those up. You couldn’t make them yourself for that price, guaranteed!  

    • Eric1 April 25, 2018 (9:51 pm)

      No kidding Swede.  Some people see a few thousand dollars and they automatically think that the city purchasing guy is in league with the fabricator.  Just price one of those crappy fake campfire rings built with overseas child labor and extrapolate to quality stuff built with American labor.  These fire boxes have to be built bulletproof because of stupid people exist.  Sure you don’t need 1/2″ steel, and hinges that would be suitable for a navy ship.  But idiots will try to break stuff just because.  If the city replaced the pits with thin steel boxes that showed signs of abuse after the first week, the complainers will ask why the city didn’t they spend more build it better.  It has to be heavier than snot because some genius will think that the fire ring would be good in their backyard.  So four burly guys and a pickup truck later,  the city is out the $500 fire pit built on the cheap.  Why did the city install the covers and locks that probably more than doubled the cost?  Yeah, idiots can’t follow the rules on usage times. 


      The city can’t win no matter what they do.  Criminals, bums, and stupid people (some people are blessed with a combination) will always be around.  It just costs extra to idiot-proof public property.  I bet those ugly looking stainless steel urinals and toilets in public restrooms cost a lot more than you think it should because it has to be idiot proof too (the toilet seat itself might not be $2000, but the toilet is way above that).  And check Amazon, good framing hammers run a couple of bills and $500 isn’t out of the question for an actual working guy buying the right tools for critical jobs. Just search: “sledge hammer”; sort by price, high to low. You get to the bottom of page 2 before you hit the $499 hammer.

      • Duwamesque April 26, 2018 (5:45 am)

        Really great to see facts and reason triumph over the Seattle complaining culture. I love it when locals bring their expertise to a discussion like this. Everyone complains about everything in this town.

  • wetone April 25, 2018 (9:00 pm)

      $1,500 (not including delivery and installation).” then add planning, design and all paper work/hours involved….  probably more like a $5k+ per fire pit install. Bigger ?  were these really needed. What happens when a person or child gets there hand broke or worse when the lids fall on them ? lawsuits coming soon.  Seattle is out of control with their bad spending habits. Probably paid for with some of the Move Seattle levy money, as it sure disappeared quickly ; )   

    • Duwamesque April 26, 2018 (5:47 am)

      Not only does Parks & Rec NOT get any money from Move Seattle, the City has yet to fully implement that tax payer approved initiative and is way behind its commitment. But it doesn’t sound like you care much for facts. Keep greasing that wheel

      • wetone April 26, 2018 (8:35 pm)

         ” Move Seattle, the City has yet to fully implement that tax payer approved initiative and is way behind its commitment.” 

            DUWAMESQUE, Seattle has been spending the money on many things. It’s just to bad some were not related to levy. 

    • JanS April 26, 2018 (2:01 pm)

      if the lid falls on them? Don’t climb into the firepit, for goodness
      sake !. What if’s, what if’s, what if’s. Damn. And it seems that
      everyone is an armchair expert on these…shaking head.

      a thought…just remove the firepits, don’t allow beach fires..then we
      don’t have to worry about stupid people misusing the damned things.
      Think you’ve heard complaints about these? Wait until the bitching  if
      fires were ever disallowed on Alki.  Y’all just follow the damned rules,
      and you “should” be good…but we don’t live in the World of Should, do
      we? Do you listen to yourselves? 

  • Brian April 25, 2018 (9:20 pm)

    Anyone balking at the cost of metal fabrication either has never had anything fabricated by a trained professional or is an absolute dotard who thinks everything should be $9.95 and made by literal wage slaves. 

  • Jim P. April 25, 2018 (9:39 pm)

    ” They hope the lockability “will help prevent fires on off-hours and prevent bonfires during burn bans.””

    Right, because people who ignore laws and common sense won’t say “Hey Bubba, let’s us’ns light a fire on *top* o’this here nifty barbecue platform.

  • Living on Alki April 25, 2018 (10:04 pm)

    Wish they would focus on other problems on Alki before spending money on fire pits.

    It’s absolutely ridiculous how loud, disrespectful, fighting/drunk/burn outs people are/do on Alki. Oh and let’s not forget what a disgusting messy condition people leave the beach/park in. It’s sad.

    Let’s focusing on getting more law enforcement to stop hiding during peak hours of problematic times, and get it to be a place everyone can enjoy. Including the residents and their families. 

    So many locals literally dread this time of year because of the behaviors that occur. 

  • MJ April 25, 2018 (10:37 pm)

    Alki beach has been a hot spot for years, anyone living there knows this.  Its like people buying a house by a pig farm and then complaining about the smell.

    Granted illegal behaviour should not be tolerated.  Oops this is Seattle that unfortunately no longer enforces the law in any consistent equitable manner.

    • Jort April 26, 2018 (8:53 am)

      That’s correct! Nearly 90 percent of drivers on the West Seattle Bridge violate the law when they exceed the posted speed limit, yet I almost never see traffic enforcement pulling them over! 

    • Living on Alki April 26, 2018 (11:39 am)

      I’ve lived in MANY Beach areas that are heavily populated by locals and visitors before, and not had such experience. 

      Comparing it to a farm smell is a bit irrelevant.. Not all popular area that co-exist are the same. Most places take pride and make sure their visitors do the same.

      Excuse me for moving to another heavily populated area, and expecting  people to respect that area, and that city to enforce laws so everyone can enjoy it and feel safe. Guess other major cities handle it better.

  • MJ April 26, 2018 (11:55 am)

    Living on Alki

    My analogy may have been a bit off, the point was that when you purchase/live near a popular beach and then complaining, some of it justified regarding illegal activities, but a lot of it simply is people out enjoying the beach that includes kids crying, dogs barking, people talking, music and parking impact.


  • just wondering April 26, 2018 (2:01 pm)

    Maybe they need to build a wall between the beach and the road!  :)

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