CANYON LAKE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Now that monsoon season is officially over and the Superstition Fire is contained, the Tonto National Forest is lifting closures in the Superstition Fire area. There is a burn scar left behind by the 10,000-acre fire that started on Aug. 20. After 10 days of flames in the wilderness, rain helped firefighters get the fire contained.
The Tonto National Forest lifted the public safety closures in the area because the likelihood of storms and subsequent flooding is now quite low. That means the steamboat Dolly, which operates on Canyon Lake, is back in business after the closures kept it docked for a couple of days.
“We have one route in and one route out, so Highway 88’s our lifeline,” co-owner Jeff Grimh said.
“It really confused a lot of people as to what lake was open, what roads were open, things like that,” Grimh said. “If you combine all those factors, it really created a little situation as far as lack of business.”
PHOTOS: Superstition Fire burning near Gold Canyon
The Superstition Fire is burning in the Superstition Wilderness outside Gold Canyon. It was caused by lightning on Aug. 20. Click here for full story.
But now there shouldn’t be much in the way of people who are looking for a dinner cruise – except for the pandemic, of course. Occupancy on the Dolly is down to about 70 or 75 passengers. Grimh says that’s still better than a closed lake.
“I think we’re rebounding a little bit now,” he said. “Looks like we’re getting a lot of winter visitors down from the north, so that’s always helpful.”
An emergency response team from the Tonto National Forest still warns people to be careful if they go to Old West Boulder Canyon. You’ll also see warning signs about the burn scar at Canyon Lake and First Water Trailhead. Grimh, though, is just happy to be back out on the water.
“We’re all good,” he said. “We’re all open to Canyon Lake.”
“It really confused a lot of people as to what lake was open, what roads were open, things like that,” Grimh said.