Tourism down as Dixie Fire continues to burn

Local businesses are experiencing the impact of the Dixie Fire during some of the busiest months for tourism.

Posted: Jul 26, 2021 7:19 PM

CHESTER, Calif. - The Dixie Fire is cutting off Lake Almanor during the peak of tourism season.

“Right now, I should be having oh, 40 people here,” Owner of Jeffroe's Produce and Pie shop Jeff Ogle said. “Tourism is usually at least 60% of my business. Obviously that's down to 0%."

Ogle has been running his shop for 20 years. He recalled the impact that the Chip Fire had on business nearly 10 years ago.

"I survived it. half of the businesses didn't last time, fortunately I did. I think we are going to have the same response here. half of these businesses are going to go out of business here in town," Ogle said.

During the summer months, Ogle’s shop is usually packed with people loading up their burritos, but now the business is far emptier.

"The thing is you have four, maybe five months to make it up here, and this fire is going to take two months away at least," Ogle said.
Ogle works 12 to 13 hour days. He says the firefighters fighting to save his town are his inspiration.

"7 days a week baby. No stop for me. Firefighters aren't stopping, then I am not stopping. They come in and they are thankful that I am here. I say, you're here. I am here. I am not going," Ogle said.

Ogle is offering free fresh fruit smoothies to every firefighter that stops in to thank them for their service.

"Let's make fall our summer, get up here and help us survive," Ogle said.

Ogle said that overall business is down about 90% and expects it to continue to be until the fire is put out and the smoke clears.

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Heavy rain and gusty south winds are on tap for the start of your Friday, and we'll have scattered showers and the potential for thunderstorms Friday afternoon and evening. A stronger storm system will track into northern California this weekend, and will bring major travel impacts from Sunday through early next week.
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