Wednesday, July 9, 2008

July 9th - evacuation

On the advice of the experienced Fire Service people at Tassajara we have decided to evacuate everyone. While they have not yet left, we expect them at Jamesburg shortly. The fire has not yet reached Tassajara or the road.

We do not know how long Tassajara will remain empty but the current Red Flag warning does not end for a couple of days. Fire crews have told us of strong winds at the ridge. These winds together with the extreme temperatures and little or no recovery in humidity overnight produce ideal conditions for the fire to move faster than we had hoped.

We appreciate that this news may cause concern but please do not call the Tassajara or Jamesburg numbers as we need the phones.

We have places to stay for the current round of evacuees for a short while.

The wrapping team finished their work shortly after lunch.

There is now a Highway Patrol vehicle at Jamesburg preventing non-residents from driving up Tassajara Road.

31 comments:

John said...

Your lives are more important than any structures. We will all have Tassajara in our thoughts and prayers. Lets hope for the best and practice with the depth and understanding this may call us to.

Tim said...

The residents and those taking refuge at City Center are gathering to chant the Enmei Jukku Kannon Gyo for the well-being of those evacuating Tassajara.

Dana V said...

At City Center, we are gathering at 7:30 tonight for a community meeting. We plan to end with a well-being ceremony. Whoever you are, wherever you are, please join in with us in chanting for the safety and well-being of everyone.
All Buddhas, ten directions, three times
All honored ones bodhisattvas, mahasattvas, wisdom beyond wisdom...

Anonymous said...

What John said. Thank you for all you've done, and thank you for leaving when it was time. I am so glad you are safe.

Kelly and Alan D. said...

Alan and I have been following the fire news from up here in Alaska. We are sending our best wishes and wlll also be chanting the ennmei jukku Kannon gyo at home tonight for everyone down there. Our thoughts are with you!!

Anonymous said...

The CHP is stopping even residents from going past Jamesburg. We have pets and can not get to them. I have talked to the EOC and they confirm a mandatory evacuation for all of Tassajara Road from Jamesburg.

slfisher said...

Best wishes to all of you. stay safe.

kathy whilden said...

My heart goes out to you all as we wait to see what will happen next.

jo said...

How do we know anything from our loved ones who live at Tassajara?

Paul Hoffman said...

Many, many deep bows for what the folks at Tassajara have already done. Many, many deep bows for what the folks at Tassajara will do next.

catwrangler said...

SF Chronicle just posted this As fire approaches monastery, monks stay behind which I believe they wrote before people decided to evacuate.

Anonymous said...

FOr those of you who don't know.. There are 5 people still inside Tassajara. The last car turned around and decided to stay.

Anonymous said...

Just heard from the EOC, the CHP was closing Tassajara Rd at the wrong spot. They should have been at the National Forest boundary and are suppose to be moving now.

Anonymous said...

who stayed?

Tim said...

I was at the community meeting at City Center tonight where Abbot Paul Haller provided more details about the 5 people who decided to turn around and head back to Tassajara. I would like to provide a little more information because the post by 'anonymous' might cause people to worry, and while there is cause for concern, more information may help us to better understand and relax a little. At least that's my intention.

Paul spoke with Director David Zimmerman who was back at Tassajara. As I heard it, the caravan of Tassajara students was leaving when they came to a Forest Service check-point. They were informed that if they left, they would not be able to return. The occupants of the last car, which included co-Abbot Steve Stucky, Director David Zimmerman and three senior students weighed various factors and decided on their own to return.

Based on a report from someone who returned yesterday to City Center from Tassajara, there is a strong feeling that Tassajara is defend-able, that a lot of preparation has gone into protecting Tassahara, and a lot of thought has been given by very experienced fire fighters on what to do if various contingencies happen. The students have been training for weeks and are ready to fight the fire. However, with no one there, a small fire could become a very large fire "if there is no one there to step on it."

And so those individuals decided to return for now. They are in contact with other members of Zen Center leadership, including President Robert Thomas, who left for Tassajara this afternoon, before it was decided to evacuate.

The community expressed a lot of concern for those who returned and they asked a lot of pointed questions. Also, during the meeting, some community members reminded us that these are long-term, senior practitioners making these decisions. Almost all are trained in wildland firefighting. They are in contact with authorities. They know the risks to themselves and the place. They have equipment, food, water, and contingency plans, and as Paul said, they will leave if the threshold of reasonable risk is crossed. How that is determined is a moment by moment consideration.

There was a lot expressed tonight, but this is a summary of what I heard.

catwrangler said...

Tim, Thank you for the details. I think we all appreciate learning more information.

Anonymous said...

who are the other three? i'm concerned about where people i know are - if you know who is there, please just say so!

lealealea said...

Thanks, Tim. Will and I have been holding Tassajara in our hearts and will continue to do so.

Tim said...

Anonymous, with all due respect, and I feel for you, right now I feel that in this public space, that the identities of the other three should be protected. Whereas David and Steve have appeared in the press and have therefore made themselves public, these three have not and so I don't feel it's appropriate to name them here.

Anonymous said...

so only people who were at the city center meeting are allowed to know what's going on with the people they love? that's some kind of compassion

Tim said...

Anonymous,

Email me: tofraser at yahoo etc.

Tim

ruhooper said...

Thanks to Tim, to Jamesburg, to the fire folks, to students and staff, to all beings...

A high five - and five low bows- for all five who remain at Tassajara.


May we all be again within the sound of the morning han!

OM!

Myra said...

would someone please ask the folks who stayed or evacuated to please contact their families? we have been asked not to call in, but I am a very concerned sister.

2007 vacations said...

We are very concernd for the 5 that are still remaining. We as well are wondering who the other 3 are. What is the email again to get this information?

Terry said...

If I cannot find out where my son is another way very soon, rest assured, I WILL call. PLEASE contact the families of those who stayed, & tell the evacuees to call home.

Anonymous said...

As other concerned parents, we agree with Terry. Our thoughts are with you all.
Joanne and Walter

Anonymous said...

観世音 南無仏 与仏有因 与仏有縁 仏法僧縁 常楽我浄 朝念観世音 暮念観世音 念念従心起 念念不離心

Holding and keeping tradition is important, but once materialistic things such as Tassajara buildings are gone, we can always start all over again. Starting from nothing again. This could be a part of our training. In order to do this again, everybody should be safe first. I wish I could help you this time.

Paul Hoffman said...

Oh, man. When I said "Many, many deep bows for what the folks at Tassajara will do next", that's not what I expected. This practice is giving me lots of opportunities to look at the judgements and criticisms I make of others. In this moment, I get to juggle respect for those who left and respect for those who stayed.

Even more bows for all of you, for all of us.

Nevada said...

I have been following the news of our beloved Tassajara from Sweden with a tear or two in my eye. You all have my best wishes and deepest thanks. I miss that han.

Tim said...

There is updated information, including the names of the people still at Tassajara, on the Tassajara fire information page.

Alison said...

A thousand thanks to all of you for your efforts to protect Tassajara.

If there is a need for a place for any evacuees to stay, do not hesitate to be in contact with us. We have room at our home.

Gassho - Alison and Antoine

Aliyu has our phone number.