The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

August 23, 2013

Beastly fire disrupts Idaho vacation heaven

(Continued)

"It's quite an economic hit on us," he said.

Businesses like The Elephant's Perch sports store in Ketchum have had plenty of time to devote to the local firefighters who have ordered heavy new boots. But it's not adding much to the bottom line.

"These guys are getting the boots at our cost," said Sam Elmes, a sales clerk. "They did a great job protecting us."

For the first time in 37 years, a charitable golf tournament started by the late baseball Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew was scratched. There are "hundreds of firefighters risking their lives in the woods. We're not going to be playing golf while they're doing that," said Georgie Fenton, its director.

For some locals, however, ditching events didn't seem an option.

Ketchum resident Spooky Taft had been planning her daughter's wedding for a year; about 220 guests were coming. Many were in the air even as the flames approached town. The string quartet was evacuated. And with embers aloft, Taft decided the horse-drawn carriage was a no-go, too.

But the wedding went forward. "We pulled it off, against all odds," Taft said.

------

AP writers Gosia Wozniacka in Fresno, Calif., Mead Gruver in Cheyenne, Wyo., and Jim Anderson in Denver contributed to this report.

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