Wildfires impact everyday life in Seattle


Blake Sandvik, Reporter

Smoke created by more than five wildfires in Western and Central Washington is causing Seattle residents to monitor air quality hazards and alter their activities.

According to both Isabella Breda at the Seattle Times  and Northwest Interagency Coordination  Center, active fires in the Cascade mountains and its foothills include are the Bolt Creek, Minnow Ridge, White River fires in the Wenatachee National Forest, the Goat Rocks fire in the Mount Rainier National Forest, and Siouxon and Kalama fires in the Gifford Pinochet National Forest. The smoke created by these fires contains a heavy amount of carbon monoxide and pollutants that can cause a number of different health issues. The particles inside the smoke are very tiny, making it easy to get inside of your lungs. 

On September 21, 2022, every single athletic game/practice in Bishop Blanchet was canceled due to safety concerns created by wildfires. When running around, playing your sport, losing oxygen is easy; needless to say, breathing in the poor air around you is very dangerous. Health officials recommend wearing the same kind of face masks we wore during the COVID mandate.

More than 80% of our wildfires are started by people whether by accident, arson, or negligence. Campfires unattended, throwing cigarettes around, and burning of debris are all reasons the wildfires are growing so erratically and fast. These wildfires are causing a huge threat to people with poor respiratory heath and asthma. 

 There are 5 way we can improve the number of wildfires happening so we don’t have to worry about whether we are going to have a sports match or not. 

Blake’s 5 tips on limiting wildfires

  • Be cautious: Creating fire hazard free zones that are free of leaves, debris, or any other flammable objects that could create a fire is an easy way to be cautious about managing wildfires. 
  • Keep vehicles off dry grass: If you ever go off-roading remember that the exhaust in your car can get really hot!!! So try to avoid parking on dry grass.
  • Build campfires in far away locations from flammables: People love going out camping, being outdoors, and enjoy the warmth from a campfire… but your campfire can easily cause a wildfire if not handled properly. Make sure your campfire isn’t close to any flammable items.
  • Reporting unattended fires :  If you are ever out and happen to notice an unattended fire, immediately call 911. Even if  conditions are decent, the smallest campfire can cause the biggest wildfire. “See something? Say Something.” is a key way to prevent a wildfire.
  • Yard Waste Burning : Burning yard waste is a common practice throughout the country, but it can cause a fire if the conditions are right. The danger of  burning yard waste comes from winds which can easily ignite flammable objects. If you are to burn yard waste, practice doing so in small quantities. Doing so will help limit any wildfire caused by burning yard waste.

Wildfires threaten every civilian life, property, and our precious natural resources. Whether it is putting a campfire out the proper way, or just maintaining your vehicle so sparks don’t fly everywhere, especially on dry land, these tips can help prevent wildfires and unwanted delays of sports games. These 5 tips can help keep smoke out of Seattle and keep the Blanchet community safe.