Nearly 1,500 people are fighting the Oregon Gulch and Little Deer fires, and are all using Yreka High School as a base camp. Yreka only has about 8,000 residents to begin with, and several restaurants have seen increases in customers, and some have even closed to the public as they help make lunches for crews.
While business owners say the rush can sometimes be overwhelming, they are welcoming the boost in traffic.
“It’s been really nice for our area. I mean it’s a sad situation what’s going on but it has helped our economy here too. You know they eat at our restaurants, and they stay at the hotels and they help all the businesses in the community,” said Best Western Miner’s Inn General Manager Sandra Palmer.
Fire camps are set up in the town almost every year, but Yreka business owners say this is the largest camp they have seen in several years.