Royal Gorge Fire now 100 percent contained
Fire consumes buildings in the Royal Gorge Park, just north of the iconic suspension bridge on June 12, 2013.
ROYAL GORGE, Colo. — Fire officials announced Sunday night that the Royal Gorge Fire was 100 percent contained, after having lifting all evacuations on Saturday.
Firefighters made enough progress Friday that the Royal Gorge Route Railroad was able to reopen Saturday to the public. Tickets were being sold for 50 percent off for an hour and a half trip through the Royal Gorge with a view of the Royal Gorge Bridge, which was partially damaged in the fire.
According to park officials, 48 of the 52 structures on both sides of the bridge have been damaged. While the fire was unable to severely damage the iconic Royal Gorge Bridge, it did burn 32 of the structure’s wooden planks.
The zip line buildings, the Bighorn Lodge, and the Sky Coaster ride, the Plaza Theater and the animal barn were among the structures that survived.
The famous Royal Gorge Bridge that spans the Arkansas River is intact but needs to be inspected before it can reopen for tourists, a spokeswoman for the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park said.
The suspension bridge, which is 956 feet above the river and among the highest in the world, is made of more than 1,000 wooden planks.
The fire began on Tuesday south of the bridge before hopping the Arkansas River and into the park itself.
Gair says fire at the park burned a visitor’s center, a tramway building, a carousel and several restaurants. Cable for the tram also fell into the gorge.
“We did not know until Thursday whether the bridge was still going to be standing,” Gorge Bridge and Park spokeswoman Peggy Gair said.