It is tourist season in Estes Park, and businesses in the town rely on making money this time of year, but the threat of fire in the Rocky Mountains has some people weary of going to Estes. Officials are reminding folks that Estes Park remains at a safe distance from the flames and is still the place for tourists to come. 

The Estes Valley Fire Protection District (EVFPD) board members discussed the impacts of the fire at their work session June 13. Public safety and economic survival are twin concerns of the board. Board president Sue Doylen emphasized, “Estes Park is open for business. We’re proud of our fire district and the care they are taking to make us safe.”

Fire chief Scott Dorman said he takes into account the impact on local businesses when issuing a total fire ban on open fires, as he did on Thursday. The last time such an action was taken, he said, was 10 years ago, in 2002. Daily monitoring is done. The hope is it’s a preventive measure — such as when you wash a car and it rains.

Audience member and fire district committee member Jim Austin pointed out that Denver and national TV stations should receive updates from the fire district, which would go far in “allaying a lot of fear.”

Dorman said the Denver TV stations should have been here for the Broncos’ event on Wednesday and for the Ride the Rockies bike event Thursday, and able to “see we’re still here.” Board members want the word to get out that the High Park fire is not a threat to our community. In fact, there is less than a two-percent chance this fire could reach the boundaries of Rocky Mountain National Park, as one local official said.

Doylen added, “I think everything will turn around (positively). It usually does. We’ll be fine. Jellystone will be back in business, with new firepits.”