Ellensburg Canyon Winery owner Gary Cox packed up a truck last week and parked in the driveway, ready to leave on a moment’s notice if the Evans Canyon Fire jumped the Yakima River.
Fortunately, that disaster scenario never happened, and like most everything else in the Yakima Canyon, the winery reopened on Wednesday. The fire started north of Naches on Aug. 31 and burned into Kittitas County and the canyon’s west side.
Both Cox and Joe Rotter, who co-owns Canyon River Ranch and Red’s Fly Shop, said the lack of physical damage didn’t stop the fire from harming their businesses.
“At (the Canyon River Grill) that was set to be our biggest week of the year,” Rotter said. “As a seasonal business, that was really impactful for us.”
Cox expressed similar sentiments about being closed during Labor Day weekend, the last big tourist opportunity of the year. Those closures will