Business owners stay in Pine-Featherville despite evacuations

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by Jamie Grey & KTVB.COM

NWCN.com

Posted on August 14, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 14 at 5:16 PM

FEATHERVILLE, Idaho -- Fire officials had to extend the mandatory evacuation in Pine to the town of Featherville on Wednesday by 8 p.m. because of how unpredictably the fire is burning.

At night, spot fires and huge flames can be seen in the mountains above both towns. Some flames are coming from the natural fire, others are from the lower fire because of intentional backburning.

"Just for precautionary, to make sure something doesn't come back around and drop down into the community of Featherville," said Jennifer Myslivy, spokeswoman for the Elk Fire.

Doors in Featherville have been color-coded with ribbons to show who has left and who has stayed. Despite the continuing fire fight, some business owners in both Featherville and Pine have decided to stay put and stay open.

Trish Kiester is the owner of Pine Resort and Nester's Pine Motel. She said she won't evacuate because there is service for her to provide, and she feels like she needs to stay.

The Pine Resort and the motel have already seen a steady stream of locals and firefighters come in for food, sodas or a place to stay.

And while the resort staff is very glad to do it, they say they're also ready in case the fire were to come down too close to them.

"We are prepared," said Kiester. "Stuff is packed up out in our vehicles and ready to go. If it was critical, if it became definitely life-threatening, we would be gone."

Fire officials are advising people who have decided to stay in both towns to be cautious and alert.

"I would make sure to consider your safety. Consider the things you have. If those are things you are staying for, make sure you are protected, make sure you have communication, make sure you have things packed in your vehicle in case they tell you that you need to evacuate now," said Myslivy.

Although residents were technically supposed to evacuate on Wednesday night, officials say those who are in Featherville still have time to leave ahead of the fire intensifying if they choose to.

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