No flame anywhere near Silverton but economy may suffer anyway.
The large West Fork Complex fire in Hinsdale and Mineral counties is not considered an actual threat to San Juan County, but it may already be causing some economic damage, given the negative attention it has drawn to Southwest Colorado.
Rose Raab, director of the Silverton Area Chamber of Commerce says she expects visitor numbers for June will be down compared to last year.
“We’re concerned about the national news now reporting this as ‘Southwest Colorado fires,’” Raab said.
She pointed out San Juan County has hardly noticed the fire raging across the Continental Divide.
“Smoke is rarely to be seen here. There are no fires,” Raab said. The only impact so far has been the closure of Stony Pass as the Papoose Fire within the West Fork Complex approaches the Rio Grande Reservoir in Hinsdale County. And with U.S. 160 closed at Wolf Creek Pass, some traffic is instead using U.S. 550.
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