REDDING -- As the Carr Fire makes its way away from Redding city limits, downtown businesses are slowly reopening and taking time to thank firefighters.
For many, a return to normalcy is something as simple as grabbing a cup of coffee or getting a car wash.
"Most people, all they want to want to do is just get back to normal," Don Hoff, who owns the Kwik 'N Kleen car wash, told FOX40. "People want to be able to see out of their car. The ash was so bad here for a while, it was like it was snowing on us."
Hoff tried to stay open but quickly learned his community was being evacuated, so he shut down on Thursday.
"I saw to the right of me that vortex and that fire moving and I told my daughter, I said, 'Get home now. Let's leave. That one scares me,'" he said.
Hoff's home was spared but the same can't be said for some of the workers at the neighboring Dutch Bros.
"We've had a couple of crew members, unfortunately, that had their home destroyed," Dutch Bros. store manager Tre Green said.
Green says is location shut down Thursday evening but reopened Friday morning to make sure fire crews got their coffee.
"We’ve seen a lot of people who really needed us not only just for coffee but just to get a little smile," Green told FOX40. "Someone to be there to smile at them and tell them to have a good day."
Green's Dutch Bros. store is one of eight locations in the area. Five of them are still closed. The shop is draped in support for the many firefighters who have worked tirelessly and put their lives on the line.
"Just anything we can do to help them, even if it's just a little sign that shows them know that we know that they are here and appreciate them," Green said.
"From the bottom of my heart," Hoff said. "They are our heroes."