It was a rough start to the new year for Universal's Islands of Adventure. The very first day of 2011 saw a fire break out on the popular log flume ride Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls. While no one was hurt and the area was quickly evacuated, it was a sight to behold, with thick black plumes of smoke rising in the Orlando sky as the fire was dealt with by Universal employees and local fire fighters.
The fire and subsequent evaucation occurred at around 5:30pm January 1, 2011. Hundreds of park visitors witnessed the fire and smoke; the park was exceptionally busy that day. Several visitors were taken to first aid but no one was taken to local hospitals. And as the evacuees were being removed from one section of the park, the front gate still have visitors coming in through the front gate.
At this time, no definite cause for the fire is known, though an electrical problem is suspected. An investigation is underway and the ride is expected to remain closed for several weeks. Universal Orlando Resort will also reportedly be using the downtime for routine safety maintenance and upgrade, which had been scheduled for late January 2011.