TUOLUMNE COUNTY (CBS) – The wildfire that’s burning in and around Yosemite National Park is making tourism dollars go up in flames.
The fire already torched a popular campsite near the park. For decades, it had been a summer destination for families.
Normally, Labor Day weekend is one of the busiest weekends for tourists at Yosemite. And while the wildfire has only burned a small area of the park, many campers and visitors are staying away, and canceling reservations they made months ago.
Usually about 5,000 cars per day visit Yosemite National Park. But this Labor Day, park officials estimate that could be cut in half.
Just days before the busy Labor Day weekend, restaurant owner Mary Delgado worried the fire would chase away customers.
But with nearly 4,000 firefighters battling the nearby blaze, Delgado has seen an 80-percent spike in business.
“It’s exciting to see a line out the door with fire trucks lined up. It’s pretty cool,” said Delgado.
But says she’s run out of food several times.
Delgado knows while she’s benefitting feeding an army of firefighters, other business owners who rely on tourists aren’t as lucky.
The Rim Fire has burned more than 179,000 acres, but crews are making progress. It’s now 20 percent contained.