Business feeling the burn as Rough Ridge blaze continues - CBS46 News

Business feeling the burn as Rough Ridge blaze continues

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)
BLUE RIDGE, GA (CBS46) -

Several Blue Ridge businesses are worried that the growing wildfire is driving customers away.

"We're down, I don't know, 25-30 percent probably from what's normal for November," Tom Striker, who works at a seed store, told CBS46. "Little businesses like mine are very cash flow dependent."

Despite a few days of sunny weather, residents have had to deal with smokey skies for the better part of a month.

"We had some smokey days and people were kind of walking around in a little bit of a bewildered state, ya know?" Striker added. "And they lost the shopping urge.  We've had two really crystal clear, beautiful fall days the last two days.  But there's nobody here to enjoy it."

"The longer it goes on, you can see it making a huge impact," local shopper Karen Cisco said.  "You really can.  I don't think people realize the magnitude of it.  We've been trying to pray for rain and there's no relief in sight."

The president of the local Chamber of Commerce sent CBS46 the following statement:

The Rough Ridge Fire in the Cohutta Wilderness is really in the wilderness, far from civilization. Thankfully we have had no loss of property, life or business here in Blue Ridge.  As a matter of fact business has been better than expected for this time of year.  We are expecting lots of people here for Thanksgiving and Light Up Blue Ridge next week.  If you would like to find out more about the status of the Rough Ridge Fire see our home page at http://www.blueridgemountains.com and follow the link to the Forest Service incident page.  There is also a link to a webcam in downtown Blue Ridge so that you can see how beautiful it is today.  That being said,  we have had a couple of smoky days, depending on which way the wind is blowing. 
 

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