Wildfires cost Oregon Shakespeare Festival $2 million

ASHLAND, Ore.  — The famed Oregon Shakespeare Festival that attracts tourists from around the world says it lost $2 million this summer because wildfire smoke forced it to cancel more than two dozen outdoor performances.

The organization will have an indoor venue next season for smoky days as an alternate to its award-winning outdoor theater and will shift its outdoor season back a week to avoid the worst of the wildfire season.

Festival spokeswoman Julie Cortez says the festival had to cancel 26 outdoor performances starting in July and running through earlier this month.

The festival takes place in the city of Ashland, in southern Oregon, which was cloaked in wildfire smoke from Oregon and California this summer.

Some days, winds brought smoke from Washington wildfires to the city as well.