Fire caused by downed power line claims historic lodge at Ozark NSR
The historic Welch Lodge, located north of Akers Ferry on the upper Current River, was destroyed in a wildfire that ignited on April 12, during warm, windy, and dry weather conditions. Despite valiant efforts by several local fire departments and wildland firefighters from Ozark National Scenic Riverways, the Welch Lodge was a total loss as a result of the blaze.
The Missouri State Fire Marshall and wildfire investigators from the National Park Service (NPS) jointly investigated the wildfire and loss of the structure. NPS investigators determined the origin of the wildfire was a downed power line resulting from a tree that fell across the line a short distance from the lodge.