Defensible space spares house from Highway 16 fire

NEAR EAGLE, Idaho (KBOI) -- As crews mop up after the Highway 16 blaze, fire bosses point to the home of Dana Moss as an excellent example of how to defend your house from flames in the rolling hills around Eagle.

"This is not our first fire," Dana explained. "We try to protect things. We set some sprinklers around the perimeter and hope the wind goes our way, which it did last night."

At one point the house was completely surrounded by flames, but fortunately the Moss family had established a "firewise" perimeter with plenty of defensible space.

The trees stand a good distance away from the house and have been trimmed to minimize combustion. | FireWise.Org

"See how the trees have been trimmed up about eight feet all the way around?" said Division Chief Nevil Humphreys with the Eagle Fire Department. "That's been done on purpose, that's a great defensible space."

And the house is on an island of green lawn with no bushes up against the sides to catch fire.

The whole idea of defensible space is to deny fuel to the flames.

The fire did destroy an old barn and the pump house to the well, knocking out the water supply.

But Dana Moss knows things could have been worse.

"It could have taken our whole house," she said. "But we have this lovely perimeter."

No homes were destroyed or damaged in the Highway 16 fire Tuesday night.