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Oregon Tourism Proactively Addresses 2019 Wildfires

Oregon Department of Forestry

With summer approaching, tourism officials are promoting Oregon’s wilderness and recreational opportunities. As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, they’re also trying to alleviate fears over wildfire season.

Credit Oregon Department of Forestry / Flickr.com

In 2017, wildfires inflicted a $51 million loss to Oregon tourism. Several shutdown popular sites like Cougar Hot Springs and the Multnomah Falls Lodge.

Todd Davidson, CEO of Travel Oregon
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
Todd Davidson, CEO of Travel Oregon

Todd Davidson, CEO of Travel Oregon, says after back-to-back years of catastrophic wildfires, they’re getting their message out ahead of wildfire season.

“Travel Oregon’s produced a video called “Living with Wildfire,” Davidson tells KLCC. "We want our visitors to know that fire is a naturally occurring part of our environment.  But there are also things they can do to bring about a decrease in those as well.”

Andy Vobora of Travel Lane County adds even when a fire’s out and cleaned up, businesses – like those near last year’s Terwilliger Fire – are still feeling the economic effects.

“Those businesses need to see our visitors again, and so we want people to get out and go visit those places," says Vobora.  "Help them get back on their feet because those times are really tough on those small businesses.”

Copyright 2019, KLCC.

Copyright 2019 KLCC

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. He is a 20-year reporter who has worked at NPR, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including three Edward R. Murrow Awards and the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award in 2012.