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4th of July campsites at risk in potential state government shutdown

If you were hoping to have a lakeside picnic at Lake Wenatchee State Park on Independence Day, you might get locked out of the park. (Photo by Ideld, courtesy Washington State Parks & Recreation Commission Facebook page)

Before you pack the tent, the bikes and your cooler, you might want to have a back up plan if you have a reservation at a state park for the 4th of July holiday.

All state parks would be closed if there's a government shutdown. All 117 parks and facilities would be off-limits. "The gates would be closed," said state parks spokesperson Virginia Painter. There are no services for them. No restrooms. No public safety."

The camp grounds are nearly full for the 4th of July holiday. There are 6,800 reservations, statewide, for the first week of July. Those reservations would be canceled during any shutdown and campers would have to make other plans. "We're working on how we would process refunds," Painter said. "We're working on those details right now."

Painter said the agency is also preparing to notify those people holding reservations about what they can do, but she said they're holding out hope those are calls they won't have to make. "At this point, we just need to cross our fingers and remain optimistic, but we are also considering when to warn people about the situation," she said.

Olympia still has six days to figure out a budget and avoid a government shutdown.

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Chris Sullivan is a traffic reporter for KIRO Radio 97.3 FM. He cares deeply about the amount of time you spend sitting in Seattle traffic.

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