Detroit Lake campers not deterred by wildfire smoke - KPTV - FOX 12

Detroit Lake campers not deterred by wildfire smoke

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FOX 12 viewer photo of Detroit Lake FOX 12 viewer photo of Detroit Lake
DETROIT LAKE, OR (KPTV) -

Oregon wildfires continue to rage across the state, which isn’t what people want to hear heading into Labor Day weekend.

Campers woke up to hazy horizons in places like Detroit Lake’s campground because of fire smoke Friday morning, but that’s not deterring some people.

Detroit Lake’s campground is booked solid.

“Yeah, not too much bothers us. Just kind of roll with it, you know,” said Clete Schroeder, who is camping with his family over the weekend and says he isn’t worried about the smoke.

The Little Devil and Whitewater Fires, in particular, are causing poor air quality in Detroit.

Rangers say the campground has 312 campsites and there were only about 20 cancellations the past couple of days.

“I wasn’t worried at all until I got here around 10:30, 11 and then I thought about canceling, but then I kind of got used to the smoke,” said Joe Munro, who says he comes to Detroit Lake almost every year.

The blue skies later Friday afternoon were barely peeking through the thick blanket of haze.

If you ask Munro, he says Friday morning was much worse.

The island in front of their campsite was swallowed by smoke.

“They’ve had fires off and on during the summer but this is probably the worst I’ve ever seen,” Munro said.

“Extremely scared and now they’re getting closer and worried about breathing problems for the little ones. But we’ll see. Hopefully it’s not bad,” said Christa White, who drove from Hillsboro.

Campsites that were full Friday evening were quiet. People were finding ways to brave the haze this weekend on and off the water. 

“I decided let’s get out to the water and paddle board and have some fun,” said Lorie Brown, who is escaping worse smoke in Bend.

One park ranger says she’s been wearing a mask in the mornings because the smoke has been so bad, but that it’s mostly been clearing out each day around 4 p.m. 

She says the campground has been cutting back on their more strenuous activities.

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