In 2017, smoke from the Jolly Mountain Fire smothered the Puget Sound. It was the year the region recognized wildfire as its next-door neighbor.


Working with burnt trees from this fire, Ted Youngs and Big Power Project have sited three art installations on Seattle Center Campus.

Ten burnt trees, flat-laid to spell the universally-recognizable Morse code: SOS


Distress signal

Employed by the Chinese military on the Great Wall and by certain Native American tribes, smoke is one of the oldest human mechanisms for signaling danger. Wildfires now sends their own distress signals. By explicitly writing an SOS on the land, The Smoke Season draws curiosity and compels the community to help.


Four burnt Douglas fir placed at the base of four living Londonplane trees.



Viewed from above, a burnt forest resembles quills on the back of a porcupine—each tree a spike denuded of foliage and casting long shadows. Four burnt trees will lay flat like shadows at the bases of four living London Planetrees. A salient expression of the dangers our future may hold.

Positioned to the west of Ronald Bladen’s sculpture Black Lightning, this siting provides a reminder that the Jolly Mountain Fire’s genesis was a lightning strike.


Had Jolly Mountain burned in Seattle, it would have destroyed two thirds of the city


Lone fir

One blackened Douglas fir raised beneath the white arches of The Pacific Science Center’s central courtyard. It will stand for the 36,000 acres of forest that burned.