Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Royal Gorge Fire Burns Facilities Around Famed Bridge

Both ends of the Royal Gorge Bridge park engulfed in smoke as structures burn.
Image: Canon City Daily Record
The Royal Gorge fire burns near Canon City. Some tourist structures within Royal Gorge Bridge park have burned, but the bridge remains intact as of late Tuesday. The miniature railroad that runs inside the park appears to have suffered some damage. No deaths or serious injuries have been reported.

There is no word at this time regarding the status or operations of the 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.◊

1 comment:

Steve Walden said...

A statement from the Royal Gorge Route's Facebook page:
"Thank you to all of our friends, family and fans for your questions and support.

"Right now, the combined fire command from federal, state and local offices are managing the situation. We are grateful for their efforts and have offered resources and support to officials to help in any way we can. We are also staying in close contact with authorities to gain insight on the status of containment, among other things.

"As soon as we have information about when we’ll resume service we promise to let you know.

"Most sincerely,

"The entire team at the Royal Gorge Route Railroad"

Praying for quick containment and moisture to slow down the fire.