The community of Cortez is bracing for empty restaurants and hotel rooms today as a two-thousand-acre blaze burns in Mesa Verde National Park. It's the fifth time in the last eleven years that a disaster has drawn attention to the town, and caused business to drop off during the tourist season.
The fire is burning in a remote area straddling the southeastern park boundary and Ute Mountain tribal land. No structures or ruins are being threatened by the flames, but no date has been set for reopening the 5,200 acre park. It has been closed since Tuesday.