FEATHERVILLE, Idaho -- The Elmore County Sheriff's Office allowed Featherville residents who were evacuated weeks ago to go back home Sunday.
Fifteen days ago, fire managers feared the Trinity Ridge Fire could wipe out Featherville, and the sheriff's office evacuated the town because of the incredibly thick smoke.
But, the back burn from a week ago worked, and it looks like the town is saved.
Today was an exciting day, said Jake Brollier, a fire information officer working on the fire. The sheriff has decided, in conjunction with our incident management team, to allow the residents of Featherville back home.
The fire was right up against the back of these homes, said John Lewis, who we found moving back in on Sunday. We're very thankful. [It's] great to be home again.
Families like the Lewis's had packed up everything they couldn't stand to see burn, and left behind even more they really didn't want to see burn.
I had my doubts for a while, but after seeing all the preparation and the activity taking place, I became rather confident rather quickly, said John Lewis, as he hung an American flag from his roof. So, I did in my heart know that we'd be flying this flag again.
It's been weeks away from home, and close to a month of worrying that it could be reduced to ashes at any moment.
I'll tell you what, it's been a long three weeks but it's nice to be back home, said Chad Herbst, who was also moving back in. It looks beautiful up here, those guys did a great job on the back burns. I'm just happy to back in my own home and sleep in my own bed.
We won't take this for granted again, said Kathi Lewis, John's wife.
Everyone in Featherville continues to thank the sheriff's office, the Red Cross, and all the firefighters for their hard work that helped to save their possessions, their homes and their town.
And there's more hard work to be done. The fire is just 31 percent contained, and there's still more than 1,200 people working the fire, trying to get it out.