Nearly two years after massive wildfires, the director of Possum Kingdom Chamber of Commerce says tourism has rebounded but drought continues to trouble the area.
The level of Possum Kingdom Lake is down about 10 feet, but there are still two public boat ramps open, says Gayla Chambers, chamber director. Chambers says she’s hopeful when it comes to the summer tourism season.
“We’re beginning to have lots of inquiries regarding camping and lodging for the upcoming holiday,” she says. “We need rain like everybody else, but in a nutshell, we have more water than a lot of Texas lakes do, so we’re hopeful that everything will still work itself out and it will be a good season.”
Two fires in 2011 burned more than 125,000 acres—including part of Possum Kingdom State Park—and destroyed more than 160 homes.
Chambers says the wildfires hurt tourism for a period stretching into spring 2012, but the tourism industry has since recovered. At this point, the drought and lake level are a bigger factor than the 2011 wildfires, Chamber says.
On Tuesday, firefighters battled another Possum Kingdom wildfire, which was reported to have burned more than 130 acres.
“It’s just part of the deal,” Chambers says. “We’re in the drought and there’s wind, and unfortunately we had another little flare-up. We’re just urging everybody to be particularly cautious.”