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Thanksgiving generally quiet in the dunes
The four-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend was an unusually quiet time in the Imperial Sand Dunes, according to Stephan Razo, U.S. Bureau of Land Management spokesman. There were 150,000 visitors to the dunes during the long weekend, Razo estimated, adding that is a low number compared to previous years.
He said it was difficult to know why there were fewer people but that higher gas prices and the recent Southern California wildfires "comes into play." He noted that 80 to 90 percent of visitors are from Southern California and most of them are from Imperial, Riverside and San Diego counties.
"It was a generally quiet weekend with no major incidents or unlawful assemblies," Razo said. "Oldsmobile Hill is a popular gathering place that tends to get rowdy in the evening, but there were no incidents this weekend."
Law enforcement carried out 500 actions, mostly citations, and made a total of 13 arrests. Twenty-two citations were issued for driving under the influence, and nine of those were arrests, he said.
Ninety injuries were reported - also lower than usual for a long weekend, he said.
Most injuries were minor, ranging from scratches to a broken leg. Four people were airlifted out of the dunes to hospitals in San Diego, Yuma and Phoenix, he added.