Campers needed! Fire hurting Featherville businesses

FEATHERVILLE, Idaho (KBOI) - Labor Day weekend was supposed to be big for the Pine and Featherville area. But the Kelley fire has closed down Baumgartner and Chapparal, two popular campgrounds in the area.

That's not stopping some people from visiting the area, however. There are still several other campgrounds open on the other side of Featherville, and people are using them.

"We came up and looked around and it was like okay we can do this," said Lory Mullen, who's camping in the area.

"It's not as bad as everybody really lets, on as far as the visuals," said Art Hoult, who's also camping there.

They're campers are staying in the middle of Pine and Featherville, where they say the smoke isn't even that bad.

But regardless, local business owners are still worried that most people will stay away on what's supposed to be one of their busiest weekends of the year.

"We were looking forward to a good weekend because we figured everybody would come up before the last hoorah...not going to happen," said Cyndie Christensen, who owns a caf in Featherville.

Christensen says with all of the fires and no business, she's hardly making it.

"This has been really tough," she said, "Two years in a row and then next to no snow during the wintertime. It's been tough this year."

Campers who are in the area can see that from the empty town. And they say they want to encourage others to still come and enjoy the holiday weekend there.

"Don't let the forest fires dissuade you from coming up, visiting the forest," Hoult said, "The locals need the people to come up."