The Mile Marker 14 Fire, much like what we saw during the Table Rock Fire, was not nearly as bad as it could have been because of the defensible space.
All around the Hilltop Station the land is scorched by fire, but somehow they were able to open for business this morning.
This is just another example of how important it is to create defensible space around your property, whether it be your home or a business.
“I’m praying to the dear Lord up here that that fire goes around our place,” said manager John Crain.
And that's just what happened for the Hilltop Station, flames came dangerously close to the building, but it was saved all thanks to defensible space.
“What I did was I took that machine and I scraped all this around through here all the way down the fence line. And what grass was still here, that's where the fire stopped,” said Crain.
Crain says flames were as far as 200 feet away and as close as 30 feet. In this case, timing was everything. One day before the fire Cain finished clearing away tall grass behind the store.
“It’s very important to take those steps because one little mistake, you can do something like that and all your stuff is gone. All your stuff is gone and then what do you do?” said Crain. “When all your stuff is gone you have nothing to even try to build back up.”
Crain says preparing for fire season began in the spring when he started trimming tree branches, keeping his grass cut low, and clearing brush from the area.
“If you keep it maintained and you keep it down over the summer you won’t have those problems; like the Hilltop, it was saved,” said Crain. “If this would've came all through here, all of this would be gone.”
Although Crain created defensible space around the property, he says he was still worried about possible damage.
“When I got up here this morning I got the tingles, I got the goosebumps, and I was so so happy with a big smile that the Hilltop Station is still here,” said Crain. “I said ‘sweet now I have a job to come to!’”
Crain also said that creating a defensible space in this particular area isn't necessarily an uncommon practice. One home owner told us, it’s not a matter of if there will be fires, it’s a matter of when.