Maupin river guides open for business as Long Hollow fire burns miles downstream

Posted at 4:14 PM, Jul 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-29 18:14:00-04

The Long Hollow Fire has prompted campground closures and access to the Deschutes River leaving some questioning rafting trips on the popular stretch of water.

River guides said this has been a bad fire season in their area. Already this year they have seen three large wildfires burning along the river. Two of those fires came in the last week and closed stretches of the Lower Deschutes River.

“We have never seen a year like this with the fires,” The owner of All-Star Rafting Silas Lewis said.

Saturday the BLM said areas along the Deschutes River from Buck Hollow River Access to Macks Canyon Campground were closed to the public. Hwy 216, from Hwy 97 to Hwy 197 was closed as well.

Lewis said he wants people with plans to come out and enjoy the river to still come. He said day trips around Maupin have been unaffected.

He also told FOX 12 that multiple day trips between Warm Springs and Maupin are still running as well.

Lewis added they’ve not only been busy on the river but also answering the phones.

“Lots of phone calls asking about road closures, the smoke and if the river is open,” Lewis said.

The answer, yes, the river is open and it hasn’t been smoky in Maupin.

Those wanting to raft downstream from Buck Hollow may notice the sides of the river have been burned. Guides sais some of the campgrounds have been burned through as well.

“Word is after they have opened the river again that most of the camps are burned down there,” River Guide with High Desert River Outfitters Justin Lauer said, “the BLM agent was telling us to bring a rake with us to clean it up and don’t touch the trees because they are still pretty hot.”