FEATHERVILLE, Idaho -- Thanks to the hard work of the fire crews battling the Trinity Ridge Fire, the people of the Featherville community have a lot to celebrate now that much of the fire danger has passed.
A few weeks ago, this community in northern Elmore County was faced with the very real possibility that fire could damage a portion of the community's roughly 500 homes. Most here evacuated knowing they might not have anything to come back to.
However, that experience is behind them now. The homes remain intact, and the road into Featherville opened back up to all traffic Thursday. The recent developments are especially good news for area business owners.
"Everybody's excited," said Cyndie Christensen of Cyndie's Featherville Cafe. "Everybody's like, 'Yes! We're back! Things are normal. We can go on with our lives.'"
Christensen says she's overjoyed just like the other business owners. That's because with the Pine-Featherville Road closure, customers that weren't firefighters couldn't reach her cafe.
That's all changed now, and Christensen says she's already seen an uptick in business, and is hoping for a big upcoming weekend.
"I've never seen anything like this since I've been up here," said John Lewis, the Manager of the Elk Valley Golf Course in Featherville.
Lewis said his course had an especially hard time during the fire.
"August is normally one of our better months," said Lewis. "We had two tournaments scheduled last month, and some other activities, and it was basically shut down."
Lewis and those at the other shops, restaurants, and motels here will need to see a flood of customers just to make up for losing out on almost all their sales in August. That means time is running out.
"Once it gets cold, things usually slow down until we get enough snow for the snowmobiles," said Christensen. "But, there's no preparation ahead of time -- it's just hoping that people will come up a lot before that."
Lewis believes the hard work firefighters performed to keep the town standing, and the mountains green, will help renew tourism.
"We are hoping that people realize it's still very beautiful up here," said Lewis.
Business owners there say they'll never fully recoup their losses from the fire. But they say at least now, they can try.