Tag Archives: fireworks

Fire leads to landslide risk at Rizal Park

By Elizabeth Dinh, KOMO Communities
(Beacon Hill Blog news partners)

A fire at Dr. Jose Rizal Park on North Beacon Hill Saturday night did more than ruin a viewpoint—it has put some motorists in danger.

The area at Rizal Park is prone to landslides—and now that the plants have been destroyed in a fireworks-sparked blaze, the risk of a slide has re-emerged.

Volunteers have spent years beautifying this park, and Saturday night’s fire ruined some of their work. And if heavy rains sweep in before this charred land is reinforced, it could pose a threat to the many people who walk and jog there.

Nine years have passed since Craig Thompson first started putting a lot of time and effort into the park that’s a few minutes away from his home.

“And we’ve done quite a bit of good work,” he says.

Volunteers have planted an apple orchard and put in more vegetation—including thousands of trees.

“We’ve managed to put ivy control measures around about 1,000 trees. We’ve planted upward of 7,000 trees,” says Thompson. He has even worked with Seattle police on how to take back the park from drug lords.

Then, at about 7:30 p.m. Saturday, fireworks touched off flames that raced across the dry land.

“I live about block and a half away from here, and we heard the bottle rockets go off,” Thompson says.

Below the beautiful Seattle skyline is now a charred patch of land that—with rain—could pose a danger to people who visit the popular park.

“This is a historically landslide-prone area,” says Thompson.

The devastation bothers David Choy, a visitor from Texas who’s been coming here for more than two decades.

“That’s a terrible shame,” he says. “I always come through here because this is such beautiful scenery. I brought my uncle and my aunt over here to look at the scenery.”

But Thompson isn’t mad about having to clean up and bring in more plants. He’s only looking forward.

“I look at it, and rather than becoming depressed or angry, I see what needs to be done,” he says.

He sees yet another opportunity to make this a better place. Volunteers already had plans to come out here on September 21 and 22 to clean up the park. Thompson says that with the added work needed to fix up the area where the fire was, it would be nice to have even more helpers come out.

Walking with Tica: Summertime and the living is noisy

Tica yawning in the hot sun. Photo by Melissa.
Tica yawning in the hot sun. Photo by Melissa.
We aren’t walking much this weekend. Tica is zonked from the heat and freaked by the fireworks. She wants to go out, but pulls strongly towards home as soon as she hears a crack, snapple, or pop. Often, she’ll be too afraid to even potty.  I have to be watchful and remember to let her in the backyard when it’s quiet.

If you have dogs (or cats), remember that they need extra consideration over the next few weeks. Many animals react very strongly to fireworks, thunder, and other loud noises.  My cats don’t seem to mind fireworks as much as Tica, but all of us suffer when the Blue Angels are practicing. The cats hide under the bed and are out of sorts.

Here are some ideas that work well for our furry roommates in July:

  • Go out early in the morning, when it’s cool and quiet
  • Keep dogs on leash
  • Make sure all animals have identification with current information–even reliable pets can panic and escape
  • If you’re traveling, update ID tags with cell phone numbers and NEVER leave pets in the car/truck
  • Provide shelter/shade for outdoor animals
  • Check all gates and fences–are they secure?  If your dog can jump the fence, consider tying out during peak noise
  • Make sure your pets have constant access to fresh water
  • Run fans and/or radios for background noise during Blue Angels practices or performances, or if someone in the neighborhood is setting off leftover fireworks from the Fourth
  • Consider locking pet doors and keeping pets inside if they seem fearful
  • Be patient and compassionate

Speaking of kitties–I’ve posted several snapshots of cats we notice on our walks to the Beacon Hill Blog flickr group. If you have a BeHi feline, post your pictures to the group.

In the Forum: Fireworks and more

Fireworks set off on Beacon Hill on July 4, 2007. Photo by Wendi.
Fireworks set off on Beacon Hill (and -- look close -- West Seattle) on July 4, 2007. Photo by Wendi.
In the Beacon Hill Blog forum right now is a question from reader alirjd:

“So this will be my first 4th of July on Beacon Hill. I know fireworks are limited this year in Seattle since Ivar’s cancelled their show, but I wondered if any of the longtime residents knew of a good spot to go sit somewhere up here and see if you can catch some of the shows around town.”

Other topics currently in the Forum include an announcement about Bible and Chinese Camp at the Beacon Lutheran Church, questions on the current status of the car wash at 15th and Beacon, discussion about a recent brazen burglary in broad daylight, and an introduction from Colin, a (relatively) new neighbor!

Do you have something to say, an announcement to post, or a question to ask? Join us in the Forum.