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As Wildfire Season Continues, Tourism Groups Implore People To Visit Attractions


As wildfires continue to burn across Oregon and other parts of the Pacific Northwest, tourism officials are urging people not to be scared off from local attractions.  As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, their appeal comes before Labor Day weekend -- the last major travel period for summer.

All summer long, wildfires have dominated the headlines. Now Travel Lane County is reminding people places like the McKenzie River Corridor are open for business. In a release, the group’s CEO says the fires of 2017 hurt many recreational and tourist activities, and it’d be good not to repeat that this year.

Credit Travel Lane County
In a press release, Baxter the Adventure Dog encourages tourists to "Come have some fun!" as part of Travel Lane County's campaign to have people visit the McKenzie River Corridor.

Alyssa Brownlee of Horse Creek Lodge & Outfitters, agrees. She says the Terwilliger Fire – six miles south of her business as the crow flies – has given people the idea places like hers are shut down and the McKenzie River corridor is inaccessible.

“This fire really has been a lot more mild in terms of the smoke," Brownlee tells KLCC.

"And given that it’s not really threatening any of the populated areas, or any of the really popular trails or places that people recreate, we would hope that people will continue to come on out and visit us.”

Travel Lane does refer people to the Eugene, Cascades, and Coast website to see fire and air quality updates, which also includes closures.

Last year, wildfires cost Oregon $51 million in lost tourism revenue, according to Travel Oregon.  The group is teaming up with Visit California and the Washington Tourism Alliance in promoting regional attractions and assuring people that many sites remain accessible.

Copyright 2018, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.