Deputies patrol Juniper Dunes during popular Memorial Day weeken - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Deputies patrol Juniper Dunes during popular Memorial Day weekend

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Occasionally, they make life changing calls that may involve a life flight helicopter, landing on the sandy dunes to carry loved ones to the care they need all year round. Occasionally, they make life changing calls that may involve a life flight helicopter, landing on the sandy dunes to carry loved ones to the care they need all year round.

FRANKLIN COUNTY, WA- A close getaway for people in the Tri-Cities can also be dangerous, especially for those who are not familiar with it.

NBC Right Now rode along with deputies patrolling Juniper Dunes over the busy Memorial Day weekend. On Friday, two men had to be flown to the hospital by helicopter from the dunes after crashing their ATV's.

Juniper Dunes is a remote area owned by the Bureau of Land management about 20 miles northeast of Pasco. 

It is a fun spot for families, who often bring out their trailers and off-road vehicles. Within seconds, things can turn bad if you are not paying attention. "Mainly, when you are going over a hill or coming up to a spot, it is knowing what is beyond that. Sometimes that means laying off the throttle and checking what is beyond where ever you are, then proceeding from there," explained Sergeant Josh Bunten with the Franklin County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies patrol Juniper Dunes on top of their normal shifts. "The three main things as far as equipment go, we are looking for ORV tags, the flags and the helmets," said Sergeant Bunten.

They are also making sure everyone is following guidelines. For example, only riding two on an ATV equipped for two people and only riding on public land. Writing citations is apart of the job, but most of all they just want everyone to have fun, "Our main thing is to make sure people are riding safe but enjoying the area," explained Sergeant Bunten.

Occasionally, they make life changing calls that may involve a life flight helicopter, landing on the sandy dunes to carry loved ones to the care they need all year round.

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