Cottagers and residents are back home and able to explore the burned out region around Caddy Lake, but business owners in the area are still feeling the effect.
The May long weekend usually draws hundreds of campers to the area, and with warm temperature in the forecast, business owners said they expected a bigger crowd.
“For us it was actually really busy,” Shannon Henwood, owner of West Hawk Lake Resort. “The campground didn’t look very busy though, which is unfortunate.”
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The owner of Caddy Lake Resort said he noticed a 20 per cent drop in business from May long weekend last year.
“The beaches are usually full especially with the beautiful weather we had,” Louay Alghoul said. “But it wasn’t as busy as we expected.”
While the fires may have affected business over the long weekend, there will be an impact on the environment as well.
“It’s a shift in the current environmental conditions,” Andrew Park from the forestry department at University of Winnipeg said.
Park said that many insects and bird nests were likely destroyed, but new wildlife will be attracted to the area as the land regenerates.
“You’ve liberated the forest floor from the vegetation that was there before,” Park said. “So you get a new growth of vegetation coming up that will be very attractive to white tailed deer and moose.”
Evacuation orders have been lifted but crews are still in the process of containing fires in the region.