Campers didn’t expect DNR campground closures, some have nowhere to go

DEER PARK, Wash. — Time to change your plans if you’re heading out to the woods this weekend because quite bit of land in eastern Washington will be off limits, due to fire danger.

Campers were pulling out of those DNR campgrounds today, but some don’t have anywhere else to go; they weren’t expecting the announcement.

Washington Department of Natural Resources made the announcement Monday to close all of their lands in Eastern Washington, because of the fire risk. Many come to Dragoon Creek for an escape, but with smoke in the air, and dry conditions Chawn Baukman’s trip was one of many pulling out today.

“I know that it’s a fire risk, that’s not nowhere here actually close to us. As long as everyone thinks is responsible, and use a propane tank, and not use a fire, you should be okay,” Baukman said.

To get into DNR sites, you need to pay $35 for a discovery pass. Baukman hopes they offer a refund, considering he just bought his and is not going to be able to utilize it this summer.

“Is there any way we could get our money back for what we can spend on the passes? Or do we get a free one next year or something? Something that will benefit us?” he said.

For Wayne Foreman, it’s a bigger issue. He calls Dragoon Creek home for the few days he’s allowed to be there.

“I wanted to cry because I am recently homeless. I’ve got nowhere else to go,” said Foreman.

He argues the risk hasn’t been an issue the past three years he’s come here.

“I think our main deal is with the fires caused by lightning, which is understandable, but I don’t think it should affect this park that much because I don’t see any evidence of fires over the last three years I’ve been here,” he said.

Even so, Baukman just wants a few more days of summer.

“I understand their point of safety, but I think they should kept it open for a couple more days or something,” Baukman said.

Some today had just bought their discovery passes because they didn’t know the parks were going to close. For those that have no where else to go, they’re going to different campgrounds to find another place to escape.

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