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Wildfire Has Little Impact on Tourist Attractions

Wildfire Has Little Impact on Tourist Attractions

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Carole Mikita ReportingWhen tourists made summer vacation plans to see Southern Utah's national parks and outdoor theatrical productions, that did not include experiencing smoke and ashes.

Wildfire Has Little Impact on Tourist Attractions

This isn't the first time park rangers and the cast and crew at both the Utah Shakespearean Festival and Tuacahn have faced natural disasters. Still, everyone is watching this latest wildfire closely.

Smoke and flames create a magical moment during this evening's production of "Twelfth Night," but Utah Shakespearean Festival organizers say that's the only place tourists will see them.

In Cedar City, the haze remains to the north.

Wildfire Has Little Impact on Tourist Attractions

Tuacahn's managers say 40 to 50 percent of their patrons live along the Wasatch Front, so come on down. Last season the theater had one smoke-out night, but this year the weather is clear.

The state tourism office says don't change your plans or stay away, just be informed.

Wildfire Has Little Impact on Tourist Attractions

Managers suggest an alternate route. If you are southbound on I-15, get off at Scipio and take Highway 50, then drive to Salina and Highway 89, then change to Highway 20, which will put you back on I-15 south of Beaver.

Leigh Von Der Esch, the managing director of the state tourism office, said, "We're obviously very concerned. A lot of states are dealing with the same thing. Obviously the health and safety of everyone is of primary importance right now, and that's why people are working so hard down there."

Park rangers at Bryce Canyon National Park insist the fire has had little negative effect, rather a plus, with beautiful sunsets.

Zion National Park rangers say they have not had a decrease in tourists because of the fire, but they have had some campground cancellations because of the heat.

One group of tourists traveled across the country to see Utah sites.

Ioy Huang, of Atlanta, Georgia, said, "We came from the south, the south of Utah. I don't know the name of the highway, but they still had some fire there."

Helen Xu, of Fairfax, Virginia, said, "Far away is some smoking from the mountains, back up the mountain. But I only saw the one tree is really fiery."

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