Scooper Planes Force Lake Restrictions

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LOST CREEK LAKE, Ore. — People living near the lake had a good view of planes skimming the water this week. That’s because Lost Creek Lake isn’t just being used as a vacation spot this Labor Day weekend, it’s also being used to help fight fires.

The planes scooping water from the lake this week are a new generation model sent by the National Interagency Fire Center stationed in Boise, Idaho. The fire center says they can pick up 1,600 gallons of water in 10 to 15 seconds. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) says the planes are dropping water on the 790 fire and the Deception Complex near Eugene, Oregon.

Guy Parker is a neighbor from Prospect who captured video of the planes as they skimmed the water.

“The neighborhood is pretty excited about it. Their shadow is probably within 50 feet of the airplane so you know they’re really close to the trees up here, and that’s, makes the excitement level a little bit higher too,” Parker said.

But some boaters out for the holiday weekend could be getting in the path set for the planes. One man said his family was camping Friday night through the weekend to Monday.

“Labor Day weekend, the kids go back to school, give us a little break. Actually want to see the planes grab the water and bring it to the fire so I can be a part of the history,” said Dewayne Carnell.

“It would be nice if the boaters were aware that the lake is being used, for firefighting purposes, and to stay aware. Keep an eye not only on the skiier behind you but on the sky above you ” Parker said.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s office will be restricting access to the northern part of the lake. People out this weekend must use the southern portion of the lake and stay away from the area being used for fire suppression. The Sheriff’s Office said the limited access at Lost Creek Lake is to ensure the safety of not only the boats and public using the lake, but also the air resources and pilots.