As the West Mullan Fire winds down, businesses in the Superior area are assessing the economic impacts caused by the blaze. On one side of town Cathy Briggs, who stocks a local convenience store in Superior and the St. Regis Travel Center, says an influx of fire fighters have been boosting the shops.
She tells NBC Montana that crews have been buying things like water, Gatorade and jerky, and in some cases, buying entire supplies of certain products. In her six years working the shops, she’s never seen anything like it.
"It's been a little crazy. Travel Center especially, we get a lot of crews coming through morning and afternoon and evening," said Briggs. "When I came in on Monday, I said I about wanted to cry because the store was so empty and especially Snickers. I had not one Snickers in the house."
On the other side of town though, behind what was once an evacuation zone, Michael Ewing at Superior Color and Lumber estimated for NBC Montana that the shop lost at least $10,000 to $20,000 while it was forced to close down on Thursday and Friday.
“We’ve never been closed like that before…It’s quite a lot of money,” said Ewing.
However, Ewing remains thankful that she had a shop to return to at all. The flames came close, and she knows the whole town is fortunate, that there’s no structures lost, and no lives lost. Now, as a town, they can all move forward.