Local News

Eightmile Fire brings back bad memories for people in Canon City

FREMONT COUNTY, Colo. - The Royal Gorge Fire cost Canon City hundreds of thousands of dollars and chased away visitors last year. People in Canon City hope the Eightmile Fire doesn't do the same.

Tamera Gherna is a bartender in Canon City. She said it was a rough year for the bar she works at after the Royal Gorge Fire. When she sees a parking lot full of cars, she feels the city is recovering.

But when the Eightmile Fire happened she got calls from people asking if everything is alright in Canon City.

"I've had friends and family ask if I am OK," Gherna said.

David Meyndert works at a restaurant in Canon City. He said business dropped 20 percent last year because of the Royal Gorge Fire. This year, he said sales have picked up by 15 percent. He said he isn't worried about the Eightmile Fire chasing away his customers, but he  is going to keep an eye on the fire.

Fremont County Commissioner Debbie Bell said the Eightmile Fire hasn't affected homes or businesses and it's far away from tourist destinations in Fremont County. But she said the Eightmile Fire can hurt Canon City by what is posted on the Internet.

"I actually believe perception is reality and what people believe is going to happen. I think people in Fremont County should not say the fire is a terrible thing and it will ruin my summer, when it fact it won't," she said.

Bell said if you plan on enjoying a scenic drive through Phantom Canyon, then that will have to be put on hold since it is closed due to the fire.

So far, the Eightmile Fire has burned about 500 acres.

The Royal Gorge Fire happened  June 2013 burning more than 3,000 acres.



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