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Wednesday, Dec 7, 2022
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With Luck, Movie Ranches Survive Sand Fire

The wildfire that skirted the eastern edge of the Santa Clarita Valley left most businesses unscathed, though two of the region’s legendary film ranches sustained significant damage. “Apart from the film ranches, we didn’t see damage to commercial properties,” said Jason Crawford, manager of economic development for the city of Santa Clarita. “We got really lucky – it could have been a lot worse.” Sable Ranch, the backdrop for television hits such as “The A-Team” and “24,” lost most of the property’s sets when the ranch caught fire. Steve Arklin, who runs A Rancho Deluxe just a few miles from Sable, said he and his staff put their operations on hold to rush to their neighbor’s aid. “When the fire was coming through Sable, we were over there with all of our resources trying to protect their place,” Arklin said. “Not only are we neighbors, but we work together quite a bit.” Within 24 hours, Sable Ranch was returning the favor at A Rancho Deluxe. A gust of wind ignited smoldering embers from small fires Arklin’s team had put out the day before, setting the property ablaze. “This is the third time we’ve been through something like this, but this particular fire was definitely the worst,” Arklin said. “The magnitude of the fire and wind together made it much more difficult to fight.” With the help of the local fire department, the two teams were able to save all of the ranch’s sets. “We soaked everything down and sprayed it with fire retardant, and we were actually able to save all of our structures on the property,” Arklin said. “A lot of our land burned, but for the most part we’re OK.” Though the rebuilding process at Sable Ranch is expected to take some time, the areas unharmed by the fire are available for filming, Crawford said. Arklin is happy to report that A Rancho Deluxe has resumed operations as well. “We’re going to need to repair the fences and get the ashes out of here – hopefully winter will bring some rain and get everything looking nice again,” said Arklin. “But we do want to let everyone know that we’re back open for business and ready for filming to begin.” Between July 22 and Aug. 2, the Sand Fire burned more than 41,000 acres, destroyed 18 homes and killed one person. Businesses affected by the fire are eligible for emergency tax relief, the Board of Equalization announced on Aug. 1. Assistance includes extensions to file tax returns, penalty relief and replacement copies of lost or damaged records.

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