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Wildlife Images Suffers from Wildfire Smoke

The devastating wildfires over the last four years and the smoke they've brought have robbed Wildlife Images of its money making Summer months.

Posted: Aug 20, 2018 7:14 PM
Updated: Aug 20, 2018 7:14 PM

GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- Since the Wildfires have started, Wildlife Images tells me they've only seen about four or five days of clear skies. The Executive Director said this really impacts business for the rest of the year.

Summertime is prime for a business like Wildlife Images. Executive Director Dave Siddon said those 90 days are when the animal rehabilitation center makes most of the money to pay the bills for the entire year. It costs about $900,000 a year to run. This year, Siddon said the smoke and the devastating wildfires over the last four years have robbed Wildlife Images of its money making months.

"We're down probably a third in income right now. That's after four years in a row. It's eating up all of our savings and everything else that's going to keep this place going perpetually," Siddon added.

Kaite Ogren and her grandma, Renee, were some of the few people who have stopped by to go on a tour since the smoke draped over the animal rehabilitation center.

"I called ahead and they said the smoke was not here today," Renee said.

“We were really close to the evacuation zone with all the fires people don't want to come out here to see that close. All the tourists that would usually come up from Medford, don't want to deal with the smoke. So it's been a real disaster for us as well,” Siddon added.
He said other businesses that are impacted by the smoke can lay off some staff until the air quality gets better.

At Wildlife Images, it’s the opposite. Summer is also baby animal season. It needs every staff member on deck. Now that the smoke has cleared away some Monday, Wildlife Images hopes to see more people rolling through.

Head here to learn how you can help Wildlife Images.

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