FEATHERVILLE, Idaho -- Firefighters battling the 88,000 acre Trinity Ridge Fire faced tough weather conditions Sunday while continuing to wait for flames to reach the edge of town.
That's because thunderstorm winds helped feed the Trinity Ridge Fire on Sunday, while lightning from the storm sparked another smaller, localized fire near Featherville. Firefighters quickly extinguished that blaze.
However, they say the main flames of the 88,000-acre fire didn't get much closer to the area's roughly 500 homes and cabins.
That means this small community is still in a holding pattern, waiting to learn its eventual fate.
Officials with the Boise National Forest plan to hold a community meeting at the Pine Senior Center at 10:30 a.m. on Monday.
They say Monday's weather conditions are forecast to include possible thunderstorms and gusty winds, which could spread flames faster. An additional Idaho National Guard helicopter has been assigned to assist firefighters.
Officials still predict the destructive fire will soon reach the small hamlet tucked into the pines of the Boise National Forest -- but when that will happen remains unknown. In the meantime, more than 1,000 personnel assigned to the incident are continuing preparations while homeowners nervously watch and wait.
Crews are clearing out as much brush as they can around Pine and Featherville. But people are starting to get anxious.
I don't want the fire to come, so I don't want it to hurry up and get here, but at the same time I would like to know what it is going to be like once the fire comes through, said Mike Freer, who owns a beautiful home on the banks of the nearby South Fork of the Boise River.
Although the town was evacuated Saturday because of the thick smoke in the area, Freer decided to stay in his place. I just feel like I would rather stay and keep water on the property and the surrounding property, so there are no embers that fall and ignite, he explained.
He put a sprinkler on his roof and has a pump set up in the river to keep his lawn wet.
I just feel more comfortable doing that than leaving right now, Freer said.
However, Freer says he's prepared to turn over the job to firefighters when the time is right. I'll leave at some point -- I'm not going to burn out there on the lawn trying to hose down the house.
Even though Freer has put so much time into fire-proofing his home, he says there is something he'd like to save even more: the view of beautiful pines across the South Fork of the Boise that runs directly in front of his home.
If I had to pick one or the other, I would pick saving the view over my house, Freer said. The view will be gone forever if it gets charred.
Many residents agree with Freer's sentiment, saying they love this community because of its idyllic beauty. Many are worried that beauty will be destroyed when the fire passes through.
The weather does not look good for firefighters the next few days. Fire managers tell KTVB the flames could hit the town at any time