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Detroit Lake hoping for busy holiday weekend, two years after wildfires

Published: May. 25, 2022 at 6:04 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - With the Memorial Day weekend approaching, the area around Detroit Lake devastated by wildfires is gradually rebuilding and welcoming visitors.

Wildfire tore through Detroit, which is east of Salem, in the fall of 2020, destroying homes and businesses when the Beachie Creek and Lion’s Head fires merged in the center of town.

“We lost everything on land,” said Lucas Lunski, who owns and operates the Detroit Lake Marina. “We had a 2-story building here for a store, we had a crew house, we had restrooms and showers down toward the dock, we had decks, and all that burned.”

But Lunski was able to put up temporary structures for a store, and fire didn’t touch the parts of the marina on the lake, which is full for the first time in two years.

“This is quite a change,” said Jim Jones, who drove to Detroit Lake from Salem to fish. “Before it was just a little babbling creek, really. And now this year it’s finally getting full.”

Other businesses and homeowners have rebuilt as well, and the lake’s two marinas are both up and running.

“We are open. We’re doing rentals, moorage, we have our store. The campgrounds are open, the stores are open, so everyone just needs to come up and enjoy,” said Lunski.

The Detroit Fishing Derby earlier this month enjoyed what organizers describe as a record turnout.

The area will be hosting Fireworks Over the Lake on July 1, 2, and 3rd.