On a street up Potter Valley Road, about a dozen houses enjoy a spectacular view of the Cook Inlet. However, they are also some of the closest homes to the McHugh Creek Fire.


One of those houses is owned by Michelle Coburn, who also runs a small alpaca farm on her property. She said she wasn’t too worried about the fire until firefighters arrived at her front porch.


“They came to our door and said, ‘You need to be getting ready,'” Coburn explained.


She immediately began to plan for a possible evacuation. One of the biggest logistical challenges was figuring out how to move her six alpacas to a safe location. Her friend, Shelly Ose, loaned her a horse trailer. However, they needed a truck to pull it. Deborah Baines quickly offered hers.


“At that moment, I lost it,” Coburn said. “You can’t get through this without friends and we’ve obviously got some pretty good ones.”


Baines said she didn’t hesitate to help because she understands what it’s like to own animals.


“We care about them. They’re family. And we do what we can to help each other,” Baines said.


Baines and Ose’s generosity provided Coburn with unexpected peace of mind.


“[When] something like this happens, it changes your life and it makes you realize who your true friends are,” Coburn said.


She said until the fire has a higher level of containment, the trailer is “not going anywhere.” She added that Friday’s rain raised her spirits.


“I am happy to be soaking wet right now. Thank you, God,” Coburn said.


KTVA 11’s Eric Ruble can be reached via email or on Facebook and Twitter.