Seattle beach fires can go on for now, official says
Seattle Parks and Recreation staff is calling for a reduction and eventual elimination of beach fires at two Seattle waterfront parks, but no action is planned this year, Superintendent Tim Gallagher said Friday.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Despite a staff recommendation calling for a reduction and eventual elimination of beach fires at two Seattle waterfront parks, no action is planned this year, Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Tim Gallagher said Friday.
Parks officials instead said recommendations are only "preliminary" in a staff memorandum that suggests cutting back the number of fire rings at Alki Beach and Golden Gardens next month — and that next year the city allow no beach fires.
The memorandum asks Gallagher and the park board to consider "whether it is good policy for Seattle Parks to continue public beach fires when the carbon ... emissions produced by thousands of beach fires per year contributes to global warming."
Dewey Potter, spokeswoman for the parks department, said a story Friday in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer about those recommendations triggered phone calls to the city in support of the beach fires.
"We know they're popular," Potter said. But the department also fields complaints about drinking, noise and littering connected with the fires, she said.
Although the park board will hear the staff recommendations at its meeting next week, Potter characterized the session as a "briefing" to acquaint board members, some of whom are new, with the issue.
In 2004, the department analyzed the issues surrounding beach fires after receiving a citation from the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency for allowing the burning of "illegal fuels," which included mattresses and household trash.
At the time, the department and park board opted to continue to allow the fires, but "with some education and regulation."
Jack Broom: 206-464-2222 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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