WEST SEATTLE SKY: Smoke arrives from Eastern Washington; fire trouble in South Sound, too

(Tonight’s sunset – photo by Kanit Cottrell)

8:18 PM: After a few night of smoke mostly to the west, from California wildfires, a new arrival tonight before sunset – smoke from fires in Eastern Washington. If you have a view to the east, it was visible over the Cascades late in the day:

(Photo tweeted by @kevinfreitas)

So much smoke has moved in so quickly that the King County Sheriff’s Office says it’s been swamped with 911 calls from people thinking there’s something on fire nearby (keep in mind, KCSO serves eastern rural King County too). Meantime, Gov. Inslee has declared a state of emergency. You can see wildfire locations in our state, and elsewhere, on this map.

9:57 PM: As commenters note, there are fires in the South Sound too.

And it’s still breezy enough here that we have fire danger too – there’s a “brush fire” call right now on Delridge south of Thistle. (Update: That call closed quickly.)

11:29 PM: Here’s a visualization showing what’s in the air:

Thanks to Jim Edwards for the flashlight-beam view.

54 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE SKY: Smoke arrives from Eastern Washington; fire trouble in South Sound, too"

  • Westofbridges September 7, 2020 (8:58 pm)

    Why is nobody covering the fires in Auburn? They are crossing the highways and burning acres! 

    • WSB September 7, 2020 (9:03 pm)

      Auburn, WA? Not seeing anything anywhere about fire(s) there. Sumner, though.

      • LN September 7, 2020 (9:18 pm)

        There’s a huge fire on puyallup 167. It’s all over fb. 

      • Herongrrrl September 7, 2020 (9:26 pm)

        Just saw a video a friend posted from Hwy 167 near the Hwy 410 interchange, brushfires on both sides of 167.

      • ttt September 7, 2020 (9:50 pm)

        Sumner is just to the south of Auburn. Also power is out in parts of Sumner due to the fire.

        • WSB September 7, 2020 (10:03 pm)

          Most regional media seems to be slow on the uptick with all this, which is surprising, as, at least in my TV days, big fires meant big coverage. Maybe they’re just getting into position. Anyway, I had searched for Auburn fire references after the original comment upthread and those are few so far, seems Sumner is the more common locator right now.
          Hope they get a handle on it fast.

  • Chris September 7, 2020 (9:02 pm)

    Thank you once again for being the place to go when you hear, smell or even feel something out of the ordinary in West Seattle. I live on hill in  West Seattle and with the wind the smell was was sudden and overwhelming.So appreciate coming to this blog and know why that is!!

  • Joan September 7, 2020 (9:03 pm)

    I just now smelled a stink and went to the open window, realized it’s smoke!! It’s awful.

  • Flyinbird September 7, 2020 (9:06 pm)

    I’m not opening up my window tonight.

  • Bryan September 7, 2020 (9:15 pm)

    all the wind today was a precursor 

  • WS Morgan Junction observer September 7, 2020 (9:21 pm)

    Smoke is noticeably heavy near Morgan Junction at 9:00 p.m.

  • 35this35mph September 7, 2020 (9:26 pm)

    Saw footage of fires burning alongside/across Hwy 167 earlier. 

  • Rr September 7, 2020 (9:28 pm)

    Thank you for this coverage! I started smelling it really heavily and thought a neighbor must be having a cigar smoking party or something. But when it didn’t dissipate even a little I thought I’d check with you and voila!

  • meanmistermustard September 7, 2020 (9:30 pm)

    is this why I woke up smelling smoke all around?  I lost my home to fire in 2004.  This has been freaking me out thinking it’s in my house somehow.

    • Vic September 7, 2020 (9:53 pm)

      Having had a terrible house fire in 2014, it was quite unnerving to me too. Walked around the house looking for flames.

  • Petert September 7, 2020 (9:35 pm)

    Smoke arriving just after sunset:

  • David F. September 7, 2020 (9:37 pm)

    SR410 closed at Traffic Ave due to fire. SR 167 closed due to power lines down in same area and fire. I live in Auburn and our power is flickering,  and is out south of us.

    • WSB September 7, 2020 (9:50 pm)

      Yikes! Stay safe.

  • Gatewood neighbor September 7, 2020 (9:37 pm)

    Thanks for the update! I actually walked around the block looking for a house fire before I saw this post. 

    • Sofie September 8, 2020 (1:41 pm)

      Exactly ☺️ …. greenwood detectives 

  • westsider September 7, 2020 (9:41 pm)

    The smoky smell is really noticeable even with the windows closed. 

  • Sunflower September 7, 2020 (10:12 pm)

    There are some major fires to the east too.

    Ash falling here and heavy smoke smell. Go outside and shine a light.

    So sad for the communities being impacted by these fires, and for all the flora and fauna, heartbreaking. Wish we could do more to prevent these.

    • Barbara September 8, 2020 (9:41 am)

      I lived in drys areas like Idaho, they would have controlled burning so this wouldn’t happen 

  • Arbor Heights guy September 7, 2020 (10:14 pm)

    The lights have been flickering all evening down in Arbor Heights….maybe people turning on their air conditioners because of the smoke and causing a power draw?  Who knows.

    • Joseph September 8, 2020 (12:31 am)

      Our lights have been flickering here near Endolyne, too.

    • Lina September 8, 2020 (5:43 am)

      Same here in High Point…. unnerving 

  • Wsguy123 September 7, 2020 (10:35 pm)

    This smoke smells awful compared to other summers where we seemed to have  thicker, more stagnant layers.

  • Chief sealth September 7, 2020 (10:54 pm)

    I don’t know if it was just my house, but nearby denny and sealth we had some pretty consistent power flickers. Maybe it’s associated?

    • WSB September 7, 2020 (11:08 pm)

      I noticed a flicker too. No outages in West Seattle so far.

  • Rob September 7, 2020 (11:01 pm)

    Like a broken record, but, with the pollution from the fires people are still burning beach fires and setting off fireworks that shake the ground on Alki further reducing the air quality and our health.   And this has been going on all summer.  How is this acceptable in anywhere in the United States?  The police refuse to respond.  They are upset with the council.  The council refuses to fund the police because they are upset with the instution.  The Mayor’s office refuses to take leadership.   So what are we left with?  People: do you want to be a failed city like Detroit?  Get your body parts in their appropriate place.  Yes, I have contacted the Mayors office.  Yes, I have contacted Lisa Herbold’s office.  Yes, I have contacted Police dispatch several times.  Even being told that they will not respond and will not log my call.  Everybody acts like this flagrant disregard  for the law and our health doesn’t exist.  No this is isn’t a rant, it is truth that nobody wants to think about.   No I am not right wing or even a conservative.  Yes I support BLM.  Our city is in the process of failing.  Look at the West Seattle Bridge if you want a glaring example.   There goes your property values along with your ability to move.  There goes your health.  There goes your quality of life.  

    • All that’s solid melts into gold September 8, 2020 (12:56 am)

      I am with you 100%. Our local leadership is failing miserably. 

    • Elton September 8, 2020 (1:00 am)

      Actually a rant I rather agree with. At this point, between the wind and dry conditions fireworks go from a nuisance to a huge threat to our safety, which we should not stand for. 

    • Jessica September 8, 2020 (2:36 am)

      Okay Rob, you say this has been going on all summer, between burning beach fires (which happens every year, and so called fireworks, “shaking the ground”), so act as if this is something new, something that may be the problem. Which in all fact is not.  For one, police will respond to something urgent, an “emergency.” A firework?! And by the water?! Most would assume not life threatening, (especially something in the norm and happens every year at that). Isn’t that just common sense? Hence, water will extinguish fire, being on Alki Beach and all (water). POLICE HAVE BIGGER ISSUES THAN FIREWORKS. IT IS CALLED LIVES. THEY PROTECT AND SERVE. If you have to say this isn’t a “rant”, most likely it is. And the fact you have to actually STATE that  you’re, “not right wing or conservative,” usually means you are. When it comes to health and quality of life, that comes down to an individual and the way we react to situations around us. We may not have control over our surroundings, but we do have control over our reactions to the things we have no control over. And that is the greatest power/self assurance and gift all in one. 

      • Rob September 8, 2020 (9:51 am)

        Jessica.  It does not happen every year to this extent and this year all beach fires out against the rules.  You are incorrect in your assessment.  Beach fires are not about fire risk near water,  it is a health hazard  because smoke is poisonous to people that breath it in for an extended period.  I have a pollution monitor in my home.   I have only portable air conditioners and must rely on open windows most of the time.  When I do crank up the portable ac it creates a negative air pressure indoors which sucks smokey air from the outside to equalize the pressure inside. Furthermore, those portable ac  units use electricity which further burdens the environment.  As far as reactions.  It is unfortunate that people dismiss and condescend  to others’ issues because they don’t want to bother to try to understand.  That is the basis of negative bias, which we are trying to overcome.  As far as the police.  Perhaps  they are overburdened and have to choose which laws to enforce.  Why don’t we give  them our support, while we all do the hard work of dismantling institutional and overt bias.  We each must take responsibility to care for each other and the environment.  It shouldn’t be a free for all, as it is now, where people take what they want with no regard for others.

    • Tanya September 8, 2020 (5:02 am)

      Yes, Rob!! Agreed!! 

    • BKRDT September 8, 2020 (7:31 am)

      Ron’s comment makes me sick to my stomach because it rings so true and I am fearful nothing will change except good, sane people fleeing this city. 

    • Zark00 September 8, 2020 (8:57 am)

      More doom and gloom, more ‘Seattle is dying!!’ rhetoric, same garbage, different day. You will find the echo chamber you seek on MyNorthwest. Police are not responding because it was a non issue, they wont take a report because they dont take reports on unwarranted hysterics from angry neighbors. News flash, city leadership has sucked for 30+ years, in that time Seattle did ok, and still is. It might be changing a little, and that may be scary to you, but to freak out and scream to the heavens that all is for naught and the city is failing, well, its a bit embarassing to be honest. 

      • WSB September 8, 2020 (9:03 am)

        I need to step in here before one more person says something about police not responding. Police and fire WERE dispatched later in the evening.I heard the dispatches, plus there are incident #’s: Logged as calls 20-261464 and 20-261448. Also SFD call F200089328.

        • Rob September 8, 2020 (10:03 am)

          WBS, unfortunately I wrote this comment because I have called the police several times over the summer and dispatch told me that they would not respond or or even log my call after I asked.  In other words, don’t bother to call. Those fires are a health hazard and are continuously relit every single night.  I watch it from my living room.  I cannot call the police every five minutes.  In my opinion this is an endemic problem that needs to be resolved.  The city is contributing to a negative environment for those living near the city park at a financial burden to homeowners and reduced tax revenue for the city and the county.

      • Rob September 8, 2020 (10:06 am)

        Zarkoo, peoples’ health is not unwarranted hysterics.

  • Dcm September 7, 2020 (11:29 pm)

    I share your thoughts. There is a complete lack of leadership & responsibility.  SPD , the mayor and City Council need to step up and do their jobs! I feel like I should get a rebate on my property taxes. Where is the accountability? 

  • Ada September 8, 2020 (12:08 am)

    Lights keep flickering in Arbor Heights. At least 4 or 5 flickers. Now six since it happened again. As I was typing. Had to close all the windows. The last time it was this smokey it set off the smoke alarms in the house.

  • Kathy September 8, 2020 (12:11 am)

    Could we please at least get some public service announcements telling people  that shooting off fireworks is extremely dangerous while there is a high risk of fire?  

    • Kim September 8, 2020 (2:08 am)

      Even with windows closed our house smells like smoke. But it normally does with all the neighborhoods with those stupid fire pits. Some people are just stupid! I have neighbors who have outdoor fire pits going at this time. And people letting off fireworks.  People playing loud music at 1:30 am.  These days people do what makes them feel happy without any consideration for their neighborhoods. Calling the police 👮‍♀️ is useless due to other issues in our community. 

    • Kt September 8, 2020 (4:39 am)

      governor insley has been tweeting about fire risks.  People are just selfish and don’t think of others sadly.

  • Brian September 8, 2020 (2:55 am)

    Woke up smelling smoke, thought the woods around our house were on fire. The smoke and particles have reached the Kitsap Lake area. It is really bad, walked all over my property looking for something on fire.

  • John September 8, 2020 (3:27 am)

    At 2:30 AM September 8th I saw a new fire up on the hill in the Lake Tapps area. 

  • Brittney September 8, 2020 (3:31 am)

    Bremerton – I just woke up to the smell of smoke! After checking my house and taking a peak outside, I read this article! Thanks for the information! I was very concerned!

  • Lyanda September 8, 2020 (6:58 am)

    Just want to echo comment from Chris above: The first thing I thought of when the living suddenly smelled of smoke last night (after checking the whole house for a fire) was to look on WSB to see what was going on–and there it was. Thank you for being here for us.

  • anonyme September 8, 2020 (7:17 am)

    Worst stench ever, and it poses a health risk as well.  I have a cough and sore throat this morning.  And agreed about the fireworks.  We’re primed for an event like the fire started in California by the gender reveal party.   Those involved should be held criminally and financially responsible.

  • Dr.T September 8, 2020 (10:45 am)

    Smoke arrived at Pacific Beach/Seabrook last night.  Initially thought it was just a stinky fire from a vacationer, but awoke to the sky hazy and the telltale smell of lingering wildfires.Welcome to the beaches!  Please take your smoke back with you when you head home!

  • Alki person September 8, 2020 (5:34 pm)

    I’m not clear is there a burn ban for private fires in Seattle now?   I assumed so but my neighbors have had fires in their fire pits the last few nights.

  • DJ September 8, 2020 (6:47 pm)

    How come no one made mention of the DJ playing music on Alki until midnight? Lol I’m so glad I don’t live there. 

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