Seattle has exceeded last year’s record-breaking number of homeless encampment fires that have since cultivated an extreme risk to public safety throughout the city.
According to the Seattle Fire Department, over 900 encampment fires have been recorded this year alone, up from 2020’s recorded number of 825. There were a recorded number of 520 encampment fires in 2019, according to data from the Seattle Fire Department. The Seattle Fire Department told The Post Millennial that SFD added a new code for dispatch to better improve the way they track fires that stem from homeless encampments.
“In order for us to better track our responses to homeless encampments, we have added in new dispatch type codes that list “encampment” if this information is known when someone calls 911 to report it,” Seattle Fire said in an email. “Crews can also change the type code from a regular type code by contacting dispatch once they arrive on scene if it’s an encampment. In addition to tracking, it also gives responding crews improved situational awareness that the response is at an encampment location,” Seattle Fire continued.
“This was a department decision to change the type codes so we could improve our tracking mechanism for encampment responses.” According to KOMO News, the Seattle Fire Department has responded to over 60 encampment fires in the last two weeks alone.