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Cedar Creek Fire could complicate Waldo Lake recreation

Cedar Creek Fire 8-4-22
Willamette National Forest
The Cedar Creek Fire is burning near Waldo Lake. Photo taken by U.S. Forest Service personnel on Aug. 4, 2022.

A wildfire near Waldo Lake could complicate recreation plans in the area.

As of mid-day Thursday, the Cedar Creek Fire was around 900 acres, according to the Willamette National Forest. The agency had downgraded the estimated size of the blaze from earlier in the day after sending up a drone in the vicinity of the fire on Thursday morning.

The fire is about 12 miles east of Oakridge. The distance from Oakridge is according to a Thursday afternoon Facebook post by the forest, which yesterday estimated the fire as being about 17 or 18 miles east of Oakridge. However, it currently poses no threat to the community, as it's moving in a generally eastward direction.

The fire is approaching the Waldo Lake area, however. As of Thursday afternoon, the lake itself, as well as developed campgrounds on the east side of the lake, were still open. But the wilderness area to the north of the lake, as well as forest land and trails to the west of the lake, are closed to the public.

The fire's proximity is causing some travelers to re-think their weekend plans.

"We are planning to camp at the north Waldo campground starting tonight," asked Brent O'Neill in response to a post about the fire on the Willamette National Forest's Facebook page. "Should we cancel?"

O'Neill was welcome to come, responded the Forest. "But be alert, as the closure may include the lake and the eastside in a couple days."

Four large air tankers were dropping water on the fire during the day Thursday, according to the Forest.

Elsewhere in the Oregon Cascades, fire growth has been minimal on the Windigo Fire southwest of La Pine, and the Potter Fire in the Middle Fork Ranger District. The fires have led to a closure of the Pacific Crest Trail in the area.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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