Casino Playing Role in Firefight

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TUOLUMNE COUNTY–

The Black Oak Casino in Tuolumne County is staying open despite road closures due to the Rim Fire.

With its restaurant and hotel, the casino is playing a role in the firefight as a comfortable base camp for firefighters.  All the rooms are booked right now with Cal Fire personnel, according to general manager Ron Patel.

Only nearby residents and people involved in the battling the fire are allowed on the roads surrounding the casino while the flames rage a few miles away.

Black Oak management has had to tell many workers to stay home because business is so light during these road closures.  On a typical weekend, 200 to 300 casino workers are on the job. But this past weekend, staffing was down to a skeleton crew of 50, Patel told FOX40.

While the effects on business are unfortunate, Patel said he understands the importance of keeping the roads clear for the firefight.

The casino is posting updates about fire and road conditions on its website. The property not threatened by the fire at this time.

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