Wildfire season is upon us, and already resort communities are feeling the heat as the severity and intensity of wildfires is on the rise. That’s bad news for outdoor recreation and the places that depend on healthy forests and outdoor tourism to support local economies.
The Stromberg Fire was a relatively small and quickly contained fire near the resort mountain town of Leavenworth, Washington, that burned over Memorial Day weekend in late May 2017. In addition to its Bavarian-themed village, Leavenworth draws visitors for rock climbing, hiking, rafting, trail running, and general exploration of the Cascade Mountains.
The fire was contained before it exceeded 50 acres, according to the Chelan County Fire District, but evacuations and media headlines positioned this small incident as a harbinger of what’s to come this wildfire season.
“Because of the quick response of fire crews and state resources, it was over very quickly” says Jessica Stoller, media director for the Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce. “Business in town didn’t seem to be affected by this fire, despite some of the media coverage.”