Many campers staying home for Labor Day

Wildfires, smoke having holiday impact

Many campers staying home for Labor Day

ELK LAKE, Ore. - Many people still will be heading over to Central Oregon for the Labor Day weekend -- but with wildfires and smoke causing issues, not as many as might have been expected are to be found at area campsites.

Cascade Area Manager for Hoodoo Ski and Recreation Amy Miller said Friday that with the smoke and heat, many popular tourist spots that offer outdoor activities are seeing fewer people camping this weekend.

"Usually by Friday, we have campers circling throughout the entire area trying to find sites, because most of our campgrounds are completely full," Miller said. "This year, we have barely any campers in any of our campgrounds."

Many of the campgrounds run by Hoodoo Ski and Recreation are seeing around one to three sites filled at any given campground.

This summer though, has seen many different factors that have led to the decline in campers.

The campfire ban on public lands, coupled with high temperatures and smoky conditions, have also led to empty campsites, according to officials.

They say just this past week, they have seen their camp hosts leave a few of their sites due to the smoke.

Cultus Lake Resort employees said their day-use numbers have taken a hit because of the heat and smoke.

"The month of August has been slower than average for the past couple years," Miller said.

But Miller said with the empty campsites, this could be a good chance to make a late decision to get out and enjoy the outdoors.

"I would advise people at this point to make your own decision on whether you would like to come out, and try to get some clean air," she said.

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