|Both ends of the Royal Gorge Bridge park engulfed in smoke as structures burn. |
Image: Canon City Daily Record
Royal Gorge Route railroad Tuesday or what is planned for Wednesday. The railroad has operated for nearly 15 years carrying passengers from Canon City to Parkdale, Colorado along the bottom of the Royal Gorge next to the Arkansas River, ever since the Union Pacific shuttered the Tennessee Pass route between Pueblo and Dotsero. The tracks are located on the north side of the canyon, across the river from where the fire started. Given the depth of the gorge and the steepness of the walls, combustible trees and other vegetation are more sparse than above, but could still cause damage to the rails. It's assumed that until the fire is controlled and contained, the railroad will likely not be allowed to run any trains through the gorge.
Another fire burning north of Colorado Springs ignited almost the same time Tuesday afternoon as the Royal Gorge fire. The Black Forest fire has claimed many homes and displaced hundreds of families with mandatory evacuations. The fire is also uncontrolled and 0% contained. Prevailing winds pushing it east in the direction of the former Chicago Rock Island & Pacific town of Peyton.◊