Mosquito Fire evacuees have mixed feelings about campgrounds

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Mosquito Fire evacuees are happy to be back home, but they have mixed feelings on a new campground that may be added nearby.

FORESTHILL, Calif. — All evacuation orders have been lifted for the Mosquito Fire in Placer County, but Foresthill residents have other concerns as they return to their homes.

Mosquito Fire evacuees are happy to be back home, but have mixed feelings on talks about a new campground potentially being added nearby.

There’s a sense of gratitude for firefighters after Foresthill residents returned to their homes after about a two-week evacuation.  

However, as residents learn about a state plan to add more campgrounds to the Auburn State Recreation Area, some are concerned. 

“We don’t need them. There’s enough camping up here, and the place they’re talking about putting them in, not the private one that they’re talking about but the other one, it’s hard to access and if a fire ever starts down there, we’re gonna be in more trouble than this one, I think,” said Deborah Casteel.  

Casteel is an almost 10-year resident of Foresthill. She and others, like Charles Jones, don’t see the new campsite as a benefit for the area. 

After experiences with previous campers, they said it’ll create more fire hazards with campfires and visitors trashing the area. 

“A group of people, when they start drinking, having fun, partying and stuff, the next thing you know, it’s just horrible,” said Charles Jones, who works out of Foresthill. 

“When you get out of towners, that come up here and just destroy the area, it takes away from the value up here,” he added. 

Residents like William Connor said he doesn’t mind sharing his own slice of life, but there are a few restrictions.  

“I’m all for new campgrounds. There’s just the one prohibition I’m against is having an open fire,” said William Connor, a Foresthill resident. “People are gonna come. They come up here all weekend – enjoy the lakes and big trees.”

For Casteel, the main point is that some people see the Mosquito Fire as a lesson learned. 

While Placer County Residents have been able to return home, there are some evacuees from El Dorado County who have not.

Watch more from ABC10: Wildfires | Is the sudden outpour of rain ending California’s fire season?

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