SMOKE: Updated health warning, park closures, plus three cancellations

(Photo by Ann Adachi, who says that’s usually a view of downtown, from near Admiral Way Viewpoint)

As smoky as it is now, authorities warn it’s going to get worse; Notes so far today:

HEALTH WARNING: Just in from the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency:

Heavy smoke from Oregon has entered our region making air quality UNHEALTHY. Air quality may continue to worsen to VERY UNHEALTHY by Friday afternoon. We expect UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS to UNHEALTHY air this weekend into early next week. We will continue to update as conditions change.

Fire marshals in our four-county area of King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish counties have issued fire safety burn bans prohibiting outdoor burning including recreational fires.

Current air quality conditions are UNHEALTHY for everyone, but may reach VERY UNHEALTHY for everyone by this afternoon.

While air quality is UNHEALTHY, everyone may begin to experience health effects; members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects. If air quality reaches VERY UNHEALTHY, everyone may experience more serious health effects.

Right now, everyone should take precautions, especially infants, children, and people over 65, or those that are pregnant, have heart or lung diseases (such as asthma or COPD), respiratory infections, diabetes, stroke survivors, and those suffering from COVID-19.

City and county officials are having a news conference at 11:30 am; we’ll report separately on anything that emerges.

11:41 AM UPDATE: Mayor Durkan has just announced that all parks, playfields, boat ramps, and beaches are closed until Sunday, and urges everyone to stay indoors.

12:13 PM: Golf courses too.

For people experiencing homelessness, one additional shelter is opening, in SODO, with capacity for 77 people, starting at 3 pm. (1045 6th Ave. S.)

1:16 PM: Here’s the news release with details of what was discussed in the briefing.

(Back to original post) Cancellations so far because of the air quality:

SOUTH SEATTLE COLLEGE COVID-19 TESTING: The Friday testing was canceled for today.

SEATTLE PUBLIC LIBRARY CURBSIDE SERVICE: This has been canceled for today.

(added 3:04 pm) DELRIDGE BLM VIGIL: The weekly vigil on the Delridge/Oregon overpass is canceled. Organizer Nancy emailed, “It’s with a heavy heart I’m writing to cancel this week’s vigil because of the extremely poor air quality due to smoke.”

Any other cancellations or changes, today or through the weekend, please let us know – westseattleblog@gmail.com or text 206-293-6302 – thank you!

126 Replies to "SMOKE: Updated health warning, park closures, plus three cancellations"

  • flimflam September 11, 2020 (11:39 am)

    Any word on federal assistance? I haven’t heard anything…

    • WSB September 11, 2020 (11:41 am)

      I haven’t checked in with national news yet today. Watching city/county briefing now.

    • Eddie September 11, 2020 (2:35 pm)

      Federal assistance to do what?  Set up some big fans and blow the smoke to CHINA?

      • flimflam September 11, 2020 (3:23 pm)

        uh, assist in managing the fires. what’s wrong with you?

      • Vic September 11, 2020 (4:29 pm)

        managing the fires and setting up more temporary shelters for folks who are houseless to get in out of the smoke.

      • Gatewood Gus September 11, 2020 (8:14 pm)

        Thank you for your valuable insight. Blaming China is always the answer to everything. 

      • Rhonda prideaux September 12, 2020 (2:00 pm)

        Good one

  • Kathy Weitz September 11, 2020 (12:07 pm)

    View today from where I live and normal view.normal view.

  • Grateful September 11, 2020 (12:13 pm)

    This pollution reminds me of two cities I have lived in.  That pollution was chronic.  I am grateful to have clean air in Seattle.

  • Sunflower September 11, 2020 (12:20 pm)

    Worried about all the wild birds contending with this smokey air :(

    • Lbalm September 11, 2020 (12:32 pm)

      Long-term exposure can be problematic, two days not so much. Some of the bigger problems for birds are cats and flying into buildings. 

      • herongrrrl September 11, 2020 (5:54 pm)

        Lbaum I hope you’re right…our hens are really unhappy, sneezing and panting, and I’m worried about them, and they are a lot bigger than many of our wild birds here.

        • alkiannie September 11, 2020 (6:34 pm)

          Can you bring them inside?  

    • flimflam September 11, 2020 (12:58 pm)

      me too…sad stories of injured/confused animals being put down in places – bears, deer and livestock as well.

      • Lbalm September 11, 2020 (4:01 pm)

        Oh, are those the animals I read about in Omak that were caught up in the wild fires there?

    • pelicans September 11, 2020 (1:16 pm)

      Thought about that, too as I fed my polite little crow just now. It must be very hard for them, being outside and breathing this in all the time.

      • WSB September 11, 2020 (3:03 pm)

        If you have a bird bath … keep that full too. We had two little juncos getting some relief just now in ours.

        • waikikigirl September 11, 2020 (7:11 pm)

          No bird bath but earlier I took a disposable aluminum roast pan filled with water out onto our front yard lawn, put fresh syrup in the hummingbird feeders and a big bowl of fresh water on our back deck for all the neighborhood cats that come to visit our inside kitty.Also soaked some stale bread with water for the crows.

      • Sunflower September 11, 2020 (5:44 pm)

        Aw, crow. Yeah, it must be hard on their small lungs, and probably also hard to navigate and see food opportunities through this smog.

        Earlier I went to a favorite wilderness area and felt grief for our forest lands and wildlife lost and impacted by these fires. So sad. 

        Also thinking about those who are trying to stay healthy in these covid times or fighting it right now.

        Take care everyone.

  • Ada September 11, 2020 (12:21 pm)

    My eyes have been burning and watering since last night. The air is pretty bad out there.

  • Kelly M September 11, 2020 (12:22 pm)

    Curious why this would merit federal assistance?

    • flimflam September 11, 2020 (3:24 pm)

      massive, multi-state wildfires? seriously? 

      • Plf September 11, 2020 (4:07 pm)

        Yep u hope if the feds send in resources to”take back the cities and states” they would send significant resources to assist with those states burning maybe they have but have not heard so

    • waikikigirl September 11, 2020 (5:43 pm)

      Kelly M….would you be asking this same question if you or one of your loved ones home burned to the ground because of these wild fires? Just because it hasn’t happened in WS doesn’t mean it can’t.

    • Lina September 11, 2020 (5:52 pm)

      I’m trying to think of a kind way to respond to your question about why this current crisis merits a federal response.  Maybe I misunderstood your comment…  Are you aware of the magnitude of destruction- immediate and long term impacts that these fire have caused?  Whole towns, gone.  Over 12% of the population of Oregon is under evac orders.  Maybe turn on a quality news source or do some light research.  Federal funding, aid, resources to fight fires, the list goes on.  

      • Andy September 12, 2020 (3:43 pm)

        It should not be very difficult to be kind in this case. It would look like this:Kelly M: Though the article is about air quality and park closures, the question about federal assistance was more likely (though I can’t be sure because the question didn’t specify) referring to fighting the fires themselves, as well as assisting those who have been displaced as a result.

    • West Seattle since 1979 September 11, 2020 (9:01 pm)

      I don’t think they meant here, for the smoke.  I think they meant the part of the state that’s burning and people are losing their homes, and whole towns being destroyed. Normally that merits federal aid.

    • Kelly M September 12, 2020 (7:23 am)

      Sorry, I was assuming we were talking strictly about the smoke and closing the parks, not the wildfire situation in the west. 

  • just wondering September 11, 2020 (12:38 pm)

    Am hearing the ferry boats using their horns!

    • WSB September 11, 2020 (1:03 pm)

      We just heard the foghorn(s) too. Definitely socked in here over Lincoln Park.

      • Sunflower September 11, 2020 (5:52 pm)

        WSB, any reports of Orca sightings over these past smokey days?

        I hope the ferries have enough visibility to see any out there.

        • WSB September 11, 2020 (6:18 pm)

          Not locally.

    • Rebecca September 13, 2020 (3:20 pm)

      Hearing foghorn every couple minutes for the last hour here in North Seattle!

  • Mr K September 11, 2020 (1:01 pm)

    1 extra shelter with 77 beds, that’s sad. We should be using the giant stadiums to house our homeless populations during these events. 

    • WSB September 11, 2020 (1:06 pm)

      There was some Q&A about that at the briefing. City reps said they and provider companies don’t even have the ‘staffing” to open the Armory. Although at the stadiums, given that the point here is to get people indoors, the Event Center at CLink is probably the only thing that might qualify.

  • Joseph September 11, 2020 (1:03 pm)

    Closing parks due to some smoke? What a joke. Our neighbors are having a new roof put on and the workers are smoking cigarettes. I’ve seen several joggers run by in the past hour and many cyclists, dog-walkers, and our regular hikers. We need to have a citizen’s ballot initiative to ban Seattle Mayors from closing our parks, boat ramps, and parking lots. 

    • Mr K September 11, 2020 (1:26 pm)

      Not sure if you’re trying troll here? It’s not “some smoke” it’s seriously high levels of smoke thats dangerous. Just because some people out there don’t care about their health doesn’t mean the City should act the same about its residents. But sure go get an initiative going to ban elected officials from closing parks during a public health crisis. 

    • Um, No! September 11, 2020 (1:40 pm)

      Agreed!   Unfortunately we live in a local society that believes and supports the idea government knows what’s best for us and should be able to control our behaviors that have zero effect on anyone else.  

    • Anne September 11, 2020 (1:44 pm)

      SOME smoke?? Your examples aren’t the same at all-but-this is truly unhealthy – by closing parks & boat ramps City Government is  emphasizing that. . I’ve also seen joggers,bikers, kids,folks with infants in strollers, families at playgrounds out in this stuff-no masks -although don’t think regular masks help. No one is going to enforce these rules-but if closing things down could inform  & help prevent health issues due to smoke- even for a few- I support it. 

    • West Seattle Dad September 11, 2020 (1:45 pm)

      I 100% agree. Now Durkan and Inslee think they have the power to tell us all how to live anytime they feel like it??!! Funny when I hear “its my body, my choice” but only applies when they want it too. 

      • Wsj September 11, 2020 (4:23 pm)

        The park is your body? Your analogy is absolutely bonkers dumb

      • BWD September 11, 2020 (4:44 pm)

        Did you truly just equate this with a woman’s right to choose?  I am appalled.  

      • Bad take September 11, 2020 (5:06 pm)

        This is such a bad and reckless false equivalency. 

      • Rumbles September 11, 2020 (5:30 pm)

        @West Seattle Dad Sounds like you and the other concerned citizens should go for a jog and blow off some steam.  🤷🏻‍♂️

      • smokey joe September 11, 2020 (5:50 pm)

        Hey buddy, do you follow traffic laws? Do you buckle your seat belt? Do you go the speed limit? These are all laws put in place for YOUR safety. These rules are typically followed, but if they aren’t you suffer the consequences. Just like if you don’t wear a mask or stay inside when it’s smokey. Get your head out of your a–.

      • Also John September 11, 2020 (5:57 pm)

        Did you actually just go there?   Women’s rights and park closures?  Seriously….what’s wrong with people?

      • Gatewood Gus September 11, 2020 (5:59 pm)

        @WestSeattleDad are you serious with this?  You need to step away. 

      • Purl September 11, 2020 (7:04 pm)

        You have something profoundly wrong with you West Seattle dad. Do not ever belittle anyone’s right to healthcare.

    • Chris September 11, 2020 (1:56 pm)

      I agree totally re:  closing parks being ridiculous.  I personally do not need the mayor to keep me safe from the smoke.  We should be asking the question of whether we have headed down a slippery slope re:  these sorts of mandates by public officials.  I appreciate the public health information and can make my own decision re:  my safety thank you very much. 

      • Also John September 11, 2020 (6:03 pm)

        @Chris….  As long as people with your equal mindset sign a waiver stating ‘I accept all responsibility associated with my actions.  If I have respiratory problems bc I elect to not wear a mask during an airborne pandemic or go outside during unhealthy air quality, I will not seek medical assistance.’    

        • Chris September 12, 2020 (1:01 am)

          @John… respectfully, you have no idea of my mindset so don’t comment on it or what I need to accept responsibility for because of it.  I made no comment re:  masks, nor has anyone else on this thread so responding re:  that to me has no relevance to this conversation.  Mostly what your comment said to me was “Tow the line or shut up”.  I simply stated my opinion re:  officials making autocratic rules to protect my personal safety and health when I am fully capable of making decisions on that for myself.  I am a very educated / smart guy and I will certainly do the best I can to make the right decision for myself and as appropriate for others.  I have a tendency to think that one of the reasons for such divisiveness on this topic  as well as others recently is the constant new autocratic rule making stated as the best solution for every new crisis  for everyone is getting a short shelf life with many if not everyone.  Everything is not a crisis that demands official rule(s) be enforced.  As time goes on IMO that approach causes more and more crisis fatigue which is counterproductive to the best outcome.  In the case of the smoke, a link to information was provided with the statement that included links to Air Quality Index Information.  Using the information that the Air Quality Index is over 200 in some areas, looking out the window and noting that Puget Sound is not visible and the ferries are blowing foghorns, as well as the inside of the house smelling like a bbq can be used by anyone to make an informed decision for themselves.  I wonder if the outcome without the rules is the same or better than with the rules.  Now I suppose I should fully accept the shaming and name calling that is about to come down .

          • CAM September 12, 2020 (6:18 pm)

            I think you and I have a very different opinion of what autocratic means. There are multiple checks on the governments power in this country and people have challenged these decisions you are questioning on multiple occasions. The Courts have disagreed with your interpretation of our government’s actions as well on almost all occasions. 

      • Beepee September 11, 2020 (8:27 pm)

        I would say that once you are in a position of power to make those kinds of choices for the greater good we’ll have to go with your inclination to keep the parks open … are you going to actually stop going to the park because they have told you it’s closed? If so doesn’t seem productive to complain about such an unimportant violation of your freedoms 

      • heartless September 12, 2020 (7:28 pm)

        Uh, Chris, do you also have problems with Seattle closing the West Seattle Bridge?  It seems like you’d rather the City just put out a press release saying “Hey, this bridge might fall down any minute, use it at your own peril.”

        I think you might be happier living all by yourself on an island somewhere, because this is not how civilization works.  Rail against it for fun all you want, but, honestly, if you continue to choose to live amongst others, please just grow up.

        ps
        ” I am a very educated / smart guy”
        Really? You actually wrote that? I mean…

        • Chris September 12, 2020 (10:59 pm)

          So… don’t question / offer an alternate perspective to the official approach or be banished to an island by myself until I can grow up  to the point you deem me fit to be a member of civilized society.  Thanks for clarifying all of that.  

          • heartless September 13, 2020 (9:38 am)

            Yeah, basically.  If you don’t think government has the right–let alone the imperative–to work toward public health and safety, you should probably find a different place to live.  Because those are very basic tenets of this society and if you think upholding those tenets is autocratic?  Then yes, please leave.

            ps

            It’s “toe” the line, not “tow” it.

          • Chris September 13, 2020 (4:14 pm)

            Thanks for the additional clarification.  In addition thanks for pointing out my typo.  I’d correct it but the deadline for editing the comment has long passed.  I never said government does not have the right / imperative to work toward public health and safety.  I absolutely agree with those points. I never indicated that upholding those tenets is autocratic.  I did express my concern with the current continual governing via mayoral and gubernatorial proclamation to support those points, which I did indicate as an autocratic approach to governing. Government also supports each individuals right to choose how to support their individual health / safety.  I believe current proclamations are counter to this.  Government also supports each individuals right to express their opinion as part of our representative democracy.  I don’t plan on moving to another island by myself at the wish of someone who has a problem with me respectfully supporting an opinion alternative to theirs.  

    • Duffy September 11, 2020 (2:08 pm)

      Wait, some roofers are burning Marlboros next door? You don’t say. Guess it is safe to go outdoors!

    • Smokey C September 11, 2020 (2:35 pm)

      The combo of closing the parks plus non-enforcement allows the city to do the right thing to encourage better health outcomes statistically across a large population while letting the insistent risk-takers take some personal risk without the additional burden of the risk caused by punishment for violations.

      It’s fine.

      • Frog September 11, 2020 (6:49 pm)

        I am guessing that closing the parks just means city staff who might work in the parks will be allowed to skip it and stay inside.  Closing the parks means you can party until dawn without needing to ignore some hapless city employee who is trying to remind you at closing time that the park is closed.

  • Winston Smith September 11, 2020 (1:26 pm)

    I don’t get the City closing stuff down. Seems like a bit of overstepping. I’m not downplaying the health risks, but doesn’t seem like this is an issue where the government should be making the choice for the people. Does it harm someone else if I want to risk my health and go to the park?

    • CAM September 11, 2020 (3:07 pm)

      Yes. The city employees who have to be out there to facilitate your use of the city owned property for liability reasons. You don’t get to decide what happens to their lungs. 

      • Winston Smith September 11, 2020 (3:50 pm)

        What city employees HAVE to be out there this weekend? I get why this answer makes sense to you on a generic level, but it’s not actually true.

        • Alki Local September 11, 2020 (4:06 pm)

          The Parks Dept staff are out every morning, seven days a week, cleaning up the mess everyone leaves overnight, at least they are out on Alki Beach.

        • CAM September 11, 2020 (4:08 pm)

          Well since everything will be closed No city employees will have to be out there this weekend. If you think these parks run themselves and require zero intervention by parks staff on a daily basis I don’t think that’s reasonable. Even in the small towns I have lived in parks staff had to come out at least at the start and end of every day, if not throughout the day. Just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there. 

          • Winston Smith September 11, 2020 (4:49 pm)

            Maybe park workers do the work on Monday? Is it really this difficult for you?

          • Rick September 12, 2020 (5:32 am)

            And just because I see them doesn’t mean they are.

        • WillYouCleanOthersTrashForTheCity? September 11, 2020 (4:45 pm)

          So the city should just leave garbage cans to overflow? The trash situation is already bad enough as it is. Perhaps they should so you would have something else to complain about. Everyone wants their cake and lots of it.

          • Tom September 11, 2020 (8:21 pm)

            Maybe just close the trash cans. 

          • Beepee September 11, 2020 (8:32 pm)

            If people actually follow the rules and respect that the parks are closed for a couple of days , no trash will be created so it’s a win win… funny how upset people seem that “the government,” is closing things down for a few days… let the owls get em 

        • Dewayne September 11, 2020 (8:13 pm)

          There’s actually a post on this blog that shows workers cutting up a tree that fell at Lincoln Park. I didn’t see any markings on the trucks to indicate they were Seattle Parks, but they have to contractors of the city. 

          • Tom September 11, 2020 (8:32 pm)

            If a tree falls in the park, but there’s no one there to hear it because the mayor closed the parks, does it still make a sound?

      • AMD September 11, 2020 (7:09 pm)

        Thank you CAM.  The city has an obligation to protect its workers from hazardous working conditions, including hazardous air quality.  People do work in the parks, whether you see them or not.  Putting it off all cleaning/maintenance until Monday is ridiculous.  How hard is it to just stay in your own neighborhood for a few days?  On top of that, every wildfire in Washington this week was caused by human activities.  After reading reports day after day of people lighting illegal fires on Alki, why fight the restrictions on the number of humans who will come into contact with our bone-dry parks with their cigarette butts and illegal fires and whatnot?

        • Tom September 11, 2020 (8:44 pm)

          I don’t want to speak for anyone here, but it sounds like there are two different arguments happening. On the one hand, some folks are saying the govt should not be closing parks because it’s in the best interest of people who might try to go to the park. Others seems to be arguing whether or not people should be going to parks. These sound similar, but they’re actually two different issues.Also, I have not seen a single thing that said Durkan closed the parks to protect city employees. I don’t think she would even say that was the reason, so I’m not sure why this has turned into an issue.

          • CAM September 11, 2020 (9:30 pm)

            No one said Durkan closed the parks to protect employees. People asked who it hurt to require the city to keep the parks open other than themselves if they were allowed to practice their libertarian dogma. I pointed out that the people hurt by that are the people out there maintaining the parks who don’t get that choice if the parks are open. Who cares if that was the main reason the parks are closed? People are harmed by other people’s decisions in communities and we’ve done a terrible job of recognizing that in recent history. Closing the parks for 2 days as a precaution is not a burden to any one of us. The zoo is also closed tomorrow but I don’t see anyone here freaking out about that. 

          • Canton September 11, 2020 (11:22 pm)

            It seems to be an issue, because the mayor decreed it. Parks are now closed due to smoke. People have no right to govern their own lungs. It is up to the “Boss Lady”, to decide our breathing capabilities. Seriously,  we need  leaders, not mothers. 

          • momosmom September 12, 2020 (7:44 am)

            This disagreement seems to be that “some” people just don’t like being told what to do or not to do. Sounds like they just haven’t grown-up yet or they have but just have no sense in being responsible.

          • Joseph September 12, 2020 (3:54 pm)

            Being a grown up is being able to responsibly make our own health decisions, not having a nanny-state Mayor make them for us.

          • Canton September 12, 2020 (10:27 pm)

            MomO If you, at this point in life, do not possess the skills to analyze the current situation and think for yourself, you will need our current “leaders”.

  • Flo B September 11, 2020 (1:55 pm)

    Joseph. AGREE! While gov’t should be looking out for and protecting us their TOTAL lack of common sense and unwillingness to come out of their bunker and see what’s actually going on  is quite amazing to watch.

    • CAM September 11, 2020 (3:08 pm)

      Maybe they aren’t only protecting you? Maybe they are also protecting their employees from having to work in those conditions involuntarily? Can we stop thinking only of ourselves for a minute?

  • Mj September 11, 2020 (2:17 pm)

    And why is the mayor closing parks?  Nanny state needs to stop, the smokey air is a deterrent for most people anyway, I do not want the mayor or anyone else to make the choice for me.

    • Anne September 11, 2020 (3:05 pm)

      Then go-no one is going to stop you-you think there will be park police out-go walk on Alki-no one will pull you off the beach.. no one is tying you up -locking you in your house- You make your own choice -go -don’t go. 

    • Matt P September 11, 2020 (3:17 pm)

      If for nothing else, liability reasons.  If someone gets hurt at the parks due to not being able to see from smoke, they don’t have a leg to stand on to sue because they weren’t supposed to be there anyway.But aside from that, the more people are deterred from going out, the less likely we’ll see even more fires set by people.

      • sw September 11, 2020 (6:35 pm)

        “Closing” Parks facilities accomplishes two things:  1) protects Parks workers from extended smoke exposure and 2) protects the city from liability lawsuits filed by people that get hurt doing dumb things. It’s not about infringing on your “rights,” it’s an attempt at trying to save us from ourselves.  Unfortunately, some people are too addle-minded to realize this. 

    • M September 11, 2020 (4:22 pm)

      This is a big government over step. We don’t need parks closed. Let people make their own choices for their health.  We had this bad smoke a few years ago and no one closed the parks. This is ridiculous. Most people will use common sense and stay indoors without being told to do so, other than giving us an alert recommending to stay inside.  Closing parks isn’t going to stop those who will still be outside jogging, etc. Just like telling someone not to smoke isn’t going to stop a chain smoker from not smoking.

      • Rumbles September 11, 2020 (7:06 pm)

        M, “government overstep” is when agents snatch protesters off the streets in unmarked vehicles.  Not when they tell you to stay out of the parks for your own well being.  No one is stopping you from going outside if you wish to slurp up some smoke particles into your lungs.  Quit acting like this is more than it is.  If you are really fired up, do some good and sit in a restaurants outdoor seating and support them.  Just a friendly suggestion.  

      • Beepee September 11, 2020 (8:36 pm)

        True we did have a large influx of wildfire smoke in 2018, but we didn’t have it along with an airborne virus and pandemic 

  • M. September 11, 2020 (2:58 pm)

    I just had to drive by Alki and there are so many people hanging out on the beach, in groups, going for runs… I continue to feel like I’m living in some alternate reality.

    • WSB September 11, 2020 (3:53 pm)

      Not true. I am here now – just drove the length – very few people.

      • M. September 11, 2020 (4:41 pm)

        That’s good! There were quite a few more at 2pm. Including groups hanging out and people out for runs and walks. 

        • WSB September 11, 2020 (4:43 pm)

          Even the path around Duwamish Head, barely half a dozen people between Seacrest and the beach. We’ll be going back that way in an hour or so to look again. Side note: We always look at Alki Statue of Liberty on 9/11. Some years, someone brings a tribute. Nothing there this time.

    • Mrsb September 11, 2020 (8:22 pm)

      I think your imagination is getting the better of you.  We drove along Alki mid afternoon and it was deserted.  

  • Flo B September 11, 2020 (3:50 pm)

    Real world here. Out visiting family and friends by Golden Garden’s every weekend. The park is FULL. City closed parking lot’s(partially open now). What do people do? They park on the street and walk a little farther. City stopped NOBODY.  People are doing what they want to do indoors or outdoors. Be it covid or smoke closing things down has stopped NOBODY.  I follow all covid precautions and am staying inside because of the smoke. I do it because I want to. I’m willing to bet these closures will NOT stop a single person that want’s to go outside. 

    • WSB September 11, 2020 (3:55 pm)

      Seems to have worked at Alki.

    • CM September 11, 2020 (4:34 pm)

      Thank goodness west Seattle blog gives you a place to anonymously vent your frustration with rules or rule breakers.

  • Mj September 11, 2020 (4:47 pm)

    The smoke sucks, maybe it’s time to reassess fire suppression.  The suppression over the years leads to a build up of fuel for fires.  

  • Kyle September 11, 2020 (5:16 pm)

    The smoke is a tragedy. But jeez…our parks department looks for every excuse to close our parks. Did the suburbs close their parks? Other areas within Western WA? Seattle parks always the first to keep the public out.

  • Trump September 11, 2020 (5:34 pm)

    We need to be honest with people, China did this.  This is China’s fault. 

    I call this the China Bad Lung Syndrome, blame China!  But don’t worry, all of this smoke will magically disappear, one day it’s here & then it’s gone, just like Covid it will magically disappear. 

    And children are fine, not affected by smoke, they breath fine, they actually like this smoke, it’s good for them, helps their lungs get stronger. 

    I would send Federal assistance but my people tell me you’re a blue state & we ran out of funds for blue states.  Obama & Biden had a chance to put these fires out many years ago but they did nothing & now the entire west coast is burning to the ground because of China, Obama, & Biden. 

    I’ve asked Russia if they can help, we can trust my buddy President-for-life Putin.

  • anonyme September 11, 2020 (5:58 pm)

    Yes, clearly we need to “clean the floors ” of our forests, as suggested by science prodigy D.J. Trump.  Couldn’t possibly have anything to do with climate change, as studied comprehensively and verified by thousands of real scientists from all over the globe.  There is very little – if anything – that can reverse what has been set in motion.

  • Lina September 11, 2020 (6:04 pm)

    I’m really disheartened at the ignorance and selfishness in this comment thread.  I can believe y’all are my community.  This is an unprecedented crisis right now, for god sakes pull it together.  I work for King County Parks, we canceled all our projects this weekend- both for the health of volunteers, and for the health of my staff to minimize their exposure.  Because I care about these people.  Closing parks allows staff to minimize their exposure with less use in parks.  Also, Parks are incredibly vulnerable right now to fire, so closely them also protects our neighborhoods- with dense development around parks, an urban forest fire would be disastrous.  Look at the bigger picture 

    • Sunflower September 11, 2020 (6:41 pm)

      I also thought the high fire risk is probably a consideration with closing parks. A visitors bbq or cigarette could spark a fire in one of our parks, so it’s not just about an individuals choices for health and safety. It’s also about protecting the land and parks for the community.

      There is more to be considered than just people’s individual liberties and freedom, in our shared world.

      • M September 11, 2020 (8:32 pm)

        it’s hard to change my mind, but you made a very good point, especially with people doing illegal bon fires on Alki!

    • AHNeighbor September 11, 2020 (7:41 pm)

      Thank you Lina for your service and for the context. 

    • Kyle September 11, 2020 (8:44 pm)

      Did King County close their parks? I couldn’t find a closure notice online.

      • WSB September 11, 2020 (9:15 pm)

        Not that we’ve heard. The county executive was also part of today’s briefing with the mayor but his only topic was the county facility that’s being used as a temporary shelter. The news release sent by his office was the same one the mayor had sent, and mentioned only city park facilities. – TR

    • West Seattle since 1979 September 11, 2020 (9:11 pm)

      Thank you, Lina.  I hope people will read your comment.  

      • Kyle September 11, 2020 (10:40 pm)

        I did consider it, and wondered why the King County parks aren’t closed then? Seattle city parks could have taken the same steps as King County and cancelled volunteers, etc.

        • Lina September 12, 2020 (6:46 am)

          Parks in the city of Seattle system are in more densely populated areas, the KC system is geographically huge, spread out.  Maybe it didn’t make sense for KC to close as well, that decision would happen way above me.  It’s a bit comparing apples to oranges 

          • Kyle September 12, 2020 (10:28 am)

            The closure is about air quality, not covid. If it’s not safe for one person, it’s not safe for a lot of people. Why would density matter? Air quality right now is worse in Kent than Seattle. Why not close the county/city parks located there? I think you’re giving the elected leaders too much credit for their uneven response.

        • Lina September 12, 2020 (6:48 am)

          Also- I think the city has already canceled staff- led volunteer events due to Covid.  

    • Alkibiach September 11, 2020 (10:10 pm)

      Thank you Lina & WS Blog. 

    • Roger Helton September 12, 2020 (8:36 am)

      Hear! Hear! 

  • MS September 11, 2020 (6:55 pm)

    Well said Lina, Thanks for that and your service!!!!

  • Wsfan September 11, 2020 (7:10 pm)

    Rake the forests!

  • Kathy September 11, 2020 (10:09 pm)

    Biking home with my daughter from Pike Place Market shopping via the Water Taxi, I couldn’t believe how empty the Alki Trail was at around 5:45 pm. It was pure pleasure having the trail to ourselves. Then we got home to learn the reason why on the news. 

  • Rob September 11, 2020 (10:30 pm)

    It’s amazing how far we are apart on some of the most basic issues.  It’s disheartening and alarming.   Arguing about  closing city parks while there are so many fires and harmful smoke.    

  • Wsprayers September 12, 2020 (12:53 pm)

    So for all those people complaining about why the parks need to close down why everyone needs to stay indoors how about now today Saturday September 12th have you looked outside? Do you see how thick that smoke is I’ve never seen anything like it in Seattle and I’ve lived here 40 years this is unpresidented times we are experiencing things that we’ve never seen or experienced or combination of things it’s crazy! We need to come together we need to balance it isn’t about right or left red or blue it’s about being an American living together in a country in a city in a neighborhood and being safe for ourselves and for each other bottom line

  • Rick September 12, 2020 (2:23 pm)

    Make smoking illegal and you’ll save a lot more lives. Can the mayor do that?

    • heartless September 12, 2020 (3:48 pm)

      If you’re curious if mayors have that power, google it.

      If you want the mayor to do that, write her.

      If you imagine you’re making a clever rhetorical point, you’re wrong.

  • Andy September 12, 2020 (3:56 pm)

    It has been deeply saddening to read this comment thread. There is so much desire for meanness, so much proud cruelty, and little to no effort towards generosity or simple, respectful communication. I know that when I read this article about air quality and park closures, then read the question about federal assistance, my first thought was that it seemed a strange thing to ask. After thinking about it, I figured that the question was probably – though it made no mention of it, and therefore misunderstanding is perfectly forgivable – about actual fire control and assistance for people displaced or otherwise suffering. We are all (by geography at a minimum) members of the same community. There is no way that I can read these comments and believe that I can trust any of you to provide support or understanding or a sense of community belonging. It’s a very lonely feeling.

    • Canton September 12, 2020 (10:57 pm)

      Andy. Don’t be saddened. People need to share their opinions. The beautiful thing about an opinion, is everyone has one. Whether we agree,… that’s a different thing. Finding common ground, is where we start.

    • Sunflower September 13, 2020 (9:44 am)

      I hear you Andy.

      I was also feeling for Kelly M.  I know I’m a little behind at times, thought perhaps she wasn’t up on the latest with how severe the wildfire situation was.

      I also understand everyone is under a lot of stress right now, there is so much that is frustrating and worrisome, and that’s where much of these responses is coming from. Stress, fear, concern.

      We all need to vent sometimes. Thanks for sharing your feelings. 

      There is always a choice to respond with more effort towards kindness, understanding, and respect. It wouldn’t hurt for all of us to consider this more.

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