Did you hear?... Massive forest fires closing millions of acres of recreation land in Colorado

On the heels of Sept. 11 and a less-than-stellar winter selling season caused by extremely bizarre weather fluctuations, comes the next industry nightmare -- massive forest fires closing millions of acres of recreation land in Colorado to anyone.
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On the heels of Sept. 11 and a less-than-stellar winter selling season caused by extremely bizarre weather fluctuations, comes the next industry nightmare -- massive forest fires closing millions of acres of recreation land in Colorado to anyone. Reports to SNEWS® from folks flying over Colorado say the entire state looks like a smoking campfire. Reports from the Denver Post indicate as many as 250 small businesses that guide folks into the outdoors are affected by the Pike National Forest closure alone. In reference to the belief that one of the huge blazes still burning out-of-control was started by an illegal campfire, a man who owns a fly-fishing shop was quoted by the Post as saying, "We don't need terrorists. We're doing it to ourselves." Summit Canyon Mountaineering in Glenwood Springs told the Post that they depend on tourists and since tourists aren't coming to the state now, the store is virtually empty. Other retailers have told SNEWS® similar tales of sales that have plummeted as much as 75 percent compared with last year. For more details on fire specifics and closures, check out www.fs.fed.us/r2/psicc/fire/index.shtml. SNEWS® View: The fires in Colorado could not have come at a worse time for that region or this industry. Reports out of Southern California, New Mexico, and Arizona predict very high fire danger too. If things do not improve sufficiently for Colorado and soon, the recreation season may be a lost cause and recreation dollars will disappear like so much slurry into a fire. Economically, that could mean reduced or cancelled orders for manufacturers as retailers struggle to stay afloat.

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