TUOLUMNE COUNTY (CBS13) — Business owners in the path of the massive Rim Fire are fighting to stay open in the face of the 14th-largest wildfire in the state’s history.
“It has decimated us. It has killed us.”
Steven Anker says he’s losing about $2,000 a day at his cafe right off of Highway 120 because of the road’s closure due to the Rim Fire.
“Usually this would all be full. It’s our busiest time of year.”
He’s had to tell people to stay home during the wildfire, going from six people a shift to just one.
Labor Day weekend is going to be a big hit to his wallet.
“That feeds my family in January and February. We don’t make any money then”
Sau Jain is feeling the same pain at his hotel.
“I was sold out for 3 days and now I’m totally empty. Nothing at all labor day weekend”
Some people show up, only to be deterred by all the smoke in the air.
“I had people who had to leave early because they have asthma.”
Business owners are trying to be understanding. This is only Judy’s second sale of the day
“I don’t blame the people. I wouldn’t go out and go shopping. It’s the last thing on your mind. It’s all smoky out.”
With winds pushing the fire toward their businesses, owners are resigned to the fact they have no control over what’s happening.
“It’s bad. It’s gonna be bad for a while.”