Several years ago, former Council President Richard Conlin created the Seattle for Washington program. Councilmembers met with elected officials from around the state to build relationships and to discuss mutual interests and areas of concern. The message was simple: Seattle needs Washington and Washington needs Seattle.
The emergency wildfire situation unfolding in Eastern Washington presents another opportunity for Seattle to help our in-state neighbors. The Seattle Fire Department has 20 staff deployed across the state and three fire engines in Fruitland, Okanogan, and Twisp. Other city staff members have been deployed to help with sheltering displaced community members, coordinating emergency management logistics, and providing public information officer support.
The current reality faced by communities east of the mountains can feel very removed from our own reality here in Seattle, but each side of this state depends on the other. It is in our best interest to help our neighbors—and it’s the right thing to do.