“What we are doing mainly is looking at areas that might be a problem and cleaning those up. As equipment arrives, we are going to help deploy it to do some structure protection,” Haught said Monday.
Residents have also used their own earth-moving equipment to cut a fire line around the town.
What to know about wildfires
On Tuesday, two firefighting crews and three engines joined them.
Atlanta, Idaho, is a historic mountain town located about 135 miles northeast of Boise. The community, which includes many second homes, is surrounded by the Boise National Forest. It was founded during the Civil War as a mining community — a trade that attracted Haught and his wife Julie, originally from West Virginia.
“It’s beautiful,” said Julie Haught, “I’ll never forget the first time I came here. I thought we had mountains in West Virginia, until I came here.”
For Julie Haught, Atlanta is “a different world,” full of history, charm and a close-knit community.
“You got to be here, visit and see why. It is very historic. A lot of these old buildings from back in the day are still here,” she said, not wanting to think about the damage the fire would cause to the buildings in the little town she calls home.
But like its much larger namesake in the South, the Idaho town of Atlanta has risen from the ashes before.
According to Gene Haught, “The town has been wiped down by fire a couple of times in the 1800s and early in the 1900s.”
His wife prays it won’t come to that.
“I would miss all the beauty of what we got left. We are hoping and praying the fire doesn’t come to this town,” she said, “I have seen the destruction to other parts of the town. It will be really heartbreaking if it ends up looking like other burned down areas in the forest.”