Wildfires Restrict Out of doors Journey and Exercise Throughout the West


Allison Keeney, a spokeswoman for Travel Oregon, the state’s tourism board, said that “wildfires in a location outside a limited area often have no impact and rarely cause major travel disruptions. This is the case with the fires currently taking place, which are in remote wilderness areas. ”She added that the state has implemented tools that allow visitors to track air quality before or during their stay.

Washington’s scenic Walla Walla Valley has seen “very minimal, if any, tourist impact from fire-related smoke,” said Justin Yax, a spokesman for the area’s tourism association.

“If anything, the Walla Walla Valley has seen a surge in visitor numbers in recent years as other popular wine regions struggled with the effects of forest fires and smoke,” he said, referring to counties of Sonoma, Napa and Santa, California Barbara, who’s been hit hard by fire lately.

But in the Methow Valley, which is also a tourism-dependent region, two nearby fires in several cities have led to an evacuation. The mayor of Winthrop, Washington, called the fires “a season end event for tourism” at a community meeting in July.

After Sun Mountain Lodge evacuated its current guests, the resort called those with upcoming reservations to encourage them to rebook for later in the year and blocked availability online until August 31. The resort is temporarily closed.

In Montana, Maria Caputo, the manager of Lamplighter Cabin & Suites in the capital of the state of Helena, said numerous guests called about the smoke this month to cancel their reservations.

“We are honest with you,” said Ms. Caputo. “I don’t want people to come here and have unhealthy breathing situations or anything.”


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