Being in a boat is usually a good thing for Orange Torpedo Trips Manager Erik Weiseth. But this time, the boat he and every other Merlin recreational business is in... isn't a good one."We're probably looking at $100,000 dollars a day lost revenue in the entire valley," he says.
This morning, he and other outfitters held a phone conference.... discussing the closure of a portion of the Wild and Scenic Rogue River.
"We're closed from Grave Creek all the way down through Mull Creek. It's kind of our bread and butter trip and we've canceled Monday," says Weiseth.
Here at the Hellgate Canyon Viewpoint, you can hear the rapids, but you can hardly see them. On camera it's almost a wash.
Hit doubly hard, because the air quality is so bad, Weiseth says they've canceled all day trips and rescheduled rafters to different routes. "We were going on the one day trip, but they canceled that," says Matthew and Chris Voisin. They traveled up from Sacramento. They are some of those re-routed, but they're not letting it ruin their trip. "I'll take the smoke anyway, it's great on the river," says Chris.
"It makes it a little eerie but it's still cool," comments Chris.
Of course, not everyone is as gung-ho... between cancellations from riders and the partial river closure, the fires are quickly extinguishing what could have been a great summer season. "We were looking at one of the best in a long time, we're all kind of in the same boat, and then this happened," says Weiseth.