Five miles of the Cascade Lakes Highway has reopened as firefighters continue to make progress against the Cedar Creek Fire, which is now 20% contained.
It’s good news for one local resort. But for another resort, it’s too late to salvage the season.
Lava Lake was opened on Friday when the Forest Service moved the Cedar Creek Fire Road closure from Hosmer Lake south five miles to Lava Lake.
Lava Lake Lodge owner Joei Frazee says a surprising number of people visited the lake over the weekend, rented most of his boats and patronized his store which helped take the sting out of being closed the past few weeks.
In another sign of progress, fire managers began removing structure protection equipment from Twin Lakes Resort and from cabins around Odell Lake.
“We are removing the structure protection equipment knowing that if things change we know how to put it back in and where it’s going to go,” said Chris Orr, Incident Commander NW Team 7.
“The threat has certainly diminished to the point that getting that equipment out of there, reducing the impact to the public, not having folks tripping over hose. Things are looking really good allowing us to reduce our footprint and get materials back into the cache for the national system.”
I checked with the owner of Twin Lakes Resort. They are still in the closure area. But even if that changes, they will remain closed for the season
Twin Lakes Resort donated all the perishable food from its restaurant to Shepherd’s House a couple of weeks ago. They couldn’t do the same with the perishables from Cultus Lake Lodge because it was evacuated so quickly when the Cedar Creek Fire burned within a couple of miles.
“Fire activity in the roadless area up into the wilderness has died down to where we are getting 1-2 inch flame lengths due to the moisture that we received,” Orr said. “It’s recovering a little bit with this warmer and drier weather, but not spreading at any speed at all.”
Here on the east side of the Cedar Creek Fire, crews continue creating shaded fuel breaks along the Cascade Lakes Highway and forest roads close to the fire lines.
And even though air quality in the Cascades Lakes area is vastly improved, many trailheads leading into wilderness areas remain closed.