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Seattle, Washington – Fire in Homeless Camp near SR 509

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Posted on March 22, 2019

Seattle, Washington (March 14, 2019) – A fire broke out and consumed part of a sprawling homeless camp in Seattle’s South Park area near SR 509. Firefighters quickly extinguished the flames, which were in close proximity to the highway and the vehicles passing on it. While no one was injured, the incident raised concerns over fires in locations like camps near state highways.

This incident has also raised discussion about highways camps forming even after being cleared earlier this year. There were also concerns over the proximity of the camp near an estuary of Duwamish River and how the trash from the camp affects the area. These issues are being brought to the attention of the local government in order to be addressed. This particular area where the fire happened is state land, and authority has been managing and policing the camps on the right-of-way to the City of Seattle.

About Fire

Washington counts as the 5th state most prone to wildfire from 2017 wildfire risk analysis, and ranks 8th in a 2018 study by number of fires that happened. The National Park service has listed possible causes of accidental fires – unattended campfires, the burning of debris, equipment malfunction, and negligence in discarding cigarette butts, all of which are related to human activities. The use of fire should always be handled with proper consideration, especially when done in areas where fire has the potential to spread, such as in camps and other nature areas. In any case, everyone should remember to pay attention to any lit fires and to extinguish a fire completely after use. Much like any other type of accident, fires have the potential to cause serious property damage, injuries and death.