Sunday, June 29, 2008

Information Officers visit Jamesburg

We've just had a visit from some Information Officers for the Indians fire which was very interesting and gave us the chance to ask some of our own questions. So here's what we think we learned...

They feel that they have the Indians fire pretty much where they can handle it. There is a fire-line to the north of the fire running along Arroyo Seco Rd that they have been able to burn away from to establish an area of protection. They plan to drop firestarters from helicopters to burn the unburnt area between this fire-line and the fire.

They will then consider this fire almost-but-not-quite controlled as this will leave isolated pockets of unburnt country that could continue flaring up given the right weather conditions. The fire may not be considered out until the rains come in the fall.

The Basin fire continues to burn out of control to the north, south and east.
  • to the south it jumped one possible control line last night and the next line may be close to the San Luis Obispo county line.
  • to the north the fire is moving actively and continues to threaten houses and businesses.
  • to the east the fire continues to move slowly but relentlessly into the wilderness.
The current plan for controlling the fire to the north and east involves the construction of a large box within which the fire is allowed to burn and within which they work only to protect structures such as Tassajara and Church Ranch.

They have recently started construction of this box by reworking the dozer lines that were used in previous fires - these lines cross Tassajara Road at Chews Ridge heading north and south.

They also plan to back burn from the Tassajara Road within this box, possibly starting this within the next week if weather conditions allow.

There are many scenarios for protecting Tassajara that vary with the direction in which the fire approaches.

The recurring theme of the conversation was that they don't know what will happen as how the fire behaves and how they are able to combat the fire depends almost entirely on the weather.


Tim said...

Thank you for this report. It's very encouraging to hear that they are making efforts to protect Tassajara specifically.

Anonymous said...

Tassajara means a lot to me and knowing what is happening is very much appreciated. Blessings, kathleen

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Alyssa said...

My thoughts are with you, the monks and firefighters. Gassho, Alyssa

Anonymous said...

i find myself checking the blog and website several times a day --thank you for doing this

Barnaby said...

When I learned of the fires a few days ago I forwarded information to several friends who I knew would be concerned. After sending the email along that I realized the automated signature line on my email was unintentionally appropriate. From a medieval Soto funeral prayer:

"When the red fire burns through the body,
There sprouts a lotus, blossoming within the flames."

It is gratifying to see this challenge become a new point of practice.

May all of you be safe and well - you have my thoughts and best wishes.

My best,
Barnaby Thieme

Kokaku Brian said...

Sunday i drove up the road after talking to Keith and finding out i couldn't join the crew at this time. So instead i took pix and minimovies. Check out YouTube video slideshow at