The Fort Collins fire is a national event – over 1000 fire fighters and more than 50k acres burned. It is rumored the effort to quench this thing may take the whole summer, unbelievable. The focus is on the homeowners and the property loss, as it should be. However it raises an interesting and difficult subject from the stand point of small businesses who rely on the River for income.
I kayak and was talking to the guys in the local kayak shop the day after the fire started, I had wanted to go up to the Poudre and paddle but was informed the main highway that runs parallel to the river was closed. It was a precautionary measure and to allow the firefighting effort to be managed unhindered by curious bystanders. He explained that it was a “pain” in so much they had to cancel some rafting trips for that day, Sunday. It is now 5 days later and the Fire has actually crossed over highway 14 and there is likely no rafting, kayaking or hiking on the Poudre for a long time.
There are 4-5 rafting outfits that work this area and they and their employees are now without revenue or income due to events completely outside their control, unforseen? maybe not but expected? no. The thought a week ago was a possible interruption of revenues for a day or two, now it may be the whole season. I would guess these businesses all have liability insurance, P and C insurance and general coverage related to their buildings and vehicles etc.
I would also guess none of them have business interruption insurance, the Aflac of business coverage, and without it they may be in very serious trouble. This may be a once in a lifetime event, a black swan of fires – but it only takes one to draw a business into a situation that is difficult to recover from. We can see the smoke plumes from our office and extend our absolute best wishes to those affected by the fire and those fighting it 24/7. As well we hope to back on the river as soon as we can and to be sharing it with the small business owners who depend on it.