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Wednesday, February 21, 2024
Feb. 21, 2024

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Vancouver begins cleanup after city bans camping in Burnt Bridge Creek area due to wildfire risk

By , Columbian staff writer, and
, Columbian staff writer
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Peter Bracchi, who has advocated for a camping ban for years, walks through an abandoned homeless encampment in Vancouver's Arnold Park. The Vancouver City Council approved amendments Monday to its camping ordinance that address fire impact zones surrounding Burnt Bridge Creek. City staff said the area's dense vegetation, steep hills and limited sources of water make it susceptible to wildfires. Homeless encampments nestled in the area pose an increased danger, as fires for cooking or warmth could easily spread and wouldn't be accessible to firefighters.
Peter Bracchi, who has advocated for a camping ban for years, walks through an abandoned homeless encampment in Vancouver's Arnold Park. The Vancouver City Council approved amendments Monday to its camping ordinance that address fire impact zones surrounding Burnt Bridge Creek. City staff said the area's dense vegetation, steep hills and limited sources of water make it susceptible to wildfires. Homeless encampments nestled in the area pose an increased danger, as fires for cooking or warmth could easily spread and wouldn't be accessible to firefighters. (James Rexroad for The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Peter Bracchi knows Arnold Park like it’s his own backyard – and that’s because it is.

The West Minnehaha resident moved into his home on the north side of Arnold Park six years ago. Since then, he’s become a fierce advocate for protecting the park’s sensitive environment.

That’s why when the Vancouver City Council updated its city code Monday to ban camping and “outside habitation” in the area to mitigate wildfire risk, Bracchi called it the happiest day of his life.

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