Mount Charleston prepares to welcome back visitors - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Mount Charleston prepares to welcome back visitors

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A tour on Thursday revealed scorched earth on Mount Charleston. (Les Krifaton/FOX5) A tour on Thursday revealed scorched earth on Mount Charleston. (Les Krifaton/FOX5)
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MT. CHARLESON (FOX5) -

Residents and business owners on Mount Charleston can't wait for things to return to normal.

"Outside our back door, we were seeing flames," said Thomas Schneekloth from the Mount Charleston Lodge.

He and his staff were forced to evacuate on July 4, three days after a lightning strike would create the wildfire known as Carpenter 1.

"The whole ridge line above us was completely engulfed in flames," said Schneekloth. 

Outside of smoke damage and the loss of all the food products they had on site, they are preparing to reopen for business.

At the Mount Charleston Resort, it's the same situation: exterior smoke damage to the building, spoiled food and beverages. All things considered, the managers there feel lucky.

"We're working round the clock with cleaning crews, and all our vendors getting the place ready to reopen," said Vice President Michael Crandall.

Many residents who have returned to the area were not available during our escorted tour, but Red Cross volunteers said the residents were happy to be home. The Red Cross provided them with supplies to get back into their homes.

"We got shovels, rakes, hoses, stuff for inside and outside the house," said Red Cross volunteer Adrian Meloni.

Meantime, smoke could still be seen coming from ridges high above the town. 

"Those are some of the fires firefighters watching. They have decided to just let them burn out," said Metro's Officer Bill Cassell.

In all, the fire consumed nearly 28,000 acres of land, and destroyed several structures.

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