|NORTH WOODSTOCK, NH – The forest fire which ended the tourist season early for the popular Lost River Gorge attraction has been officially declared extinguished, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
"I am pleased to say that the fire is out, and the business itself did not sustain any damage," said Kate Wetherell, general manager of the Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves. "Other than the loss of business while the fire was fought, we came out of it quite well. The immediate property wasn’t affected, but you can see up on the hill where the fire raged for quite some time."
"We’ll be open for business as usual in the spring. Likely with a whole new exhibit about how the forest regenerates after a major fire," added Wetherell.
The Dilly Cliff Fire, which burned for over a month, was originally reported in early October and fought by firefighters from as far away as the Great Lakes.
The fire remained high in the cliffs, well above the Lost River Gorge boardwalks and caves, but the attraction was closed as firefighting crews used the property as a base from which to battle the stubborn blaze.
The fire originally started on land that is owned by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests and operated by White Mountains Attractions Association, but soon spread onto the White Mountain National Forest, and burned about 70 acres before finally being extinguished by heavy rains.
The U.S. Forest Service declared the fire officially out as of November 8 at 2:20 p.m., according to a report from Incident Commander John Neely.
Lost River Gorge will open in May for the 2018 season. Over the winter, work will continue on its recent expansion projects, of which the newest is the Giant Bird Nest. Humans can visit this much-larger-than-life-sized handmade bird’s nest to get incredible valley views from high in Kinsman Notch.
The Gorge will continue to host new events throughout the season and bring back the popular Guided Evening Lantern Tours, and Live Animal Presentations with a Naturalist in collaboration with the Squam Lakes Science Center.