Illegal fires destroying beach, says city parks

The Board of Park Commissioners met tonight to hear a status report on the hotly-contested issue of beach fires at Golden Gardens and Alki. You may remember last week the parks department staff suggested limiting beach fires, but Parks Superintendent Tim Gallagher quickly followed up and said no action will be taken, at least this year. At the meeting, he reiterated that there won’t be any changes this year, but he said illegal beach fires (outside the fire pits) along with associated trash and drinking are serious problems. Staff member Ted Baker, who patrols beach fires at Golden Gardens, said illegal fires are destroying the beach and it “looks like the Fourth of July” when the sun sets.

(File photo from three weeks ago.) Some of the suggestions for possible future considerations included a reservation system for the fire pits as well as increased enforcement. How to pay for the added personnel? Perhaps through ticketing and fines: one parks employee said she saw police wrote more than 100 parking tickets while she was out at Golden Gardens today.

In the end, no decisions were made, but the board chair said it’s important to get the information out to the public early so perhaps it can begin to clean up its own act. (Our thanks to the wonderful folks at the West Seattle Blog, who attended the meeting and provided the reporting for My Ballard).

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