Thursday, July 10, 2008

So far, so good

The fire has passed through Tassajara and is making it's way down the creek. Everyone who has stayed is safe and very tired. They plan to spend the night maintaining a watch for embers falling from the hills above.

They report that the Tassajara grounds are an island of green in a sea of black. A testament to the recently installed sprinkler system and the twice daily irrigation of the site.

The fire approached quickly from three sides shortly after 1pm and passed over Tassajara mercifully fast. The crew were able to move around outside the safe space and keep the sprinkler system working.

Several small buildings were lost: the Bird House, the compost shed, the wood shed and the pool bathroom. The radio-phone and half of the lower garden were also destroyed.

Clarification 9:00pm: The front of the fire has passed Tassajara and was burning the meadow below the lower barn early this evening. There appears to be no fuel left to burn in the valley. The remaining danger is from embers falling down the hillsides. This danger may persist for days and diminishes as time passes.

16 comments:

Jane said...

Thank you again for this happiest of news.

Three of us old timers are all wondering--what is the Bird House?

More importantly, can you tell us if the road is open or closed, and any predictions about that, so we can know when our five might expect some relief?

For anyone who may be contemplating offering to go back in, a place which fire has passed through is a place that is safe--while hot spots might flare, and buildings need to be protected against burning things falling against them, a forest fire can't burn again a place where all the immediate fuel has burned.

I hear that fog is thick at the coast now. If it creeps all the way in, that would make for a quiet night, as even the hearts of trees that are burning burn more slowly when it's cooler...

Again, thoughts for all affected by fire everywhere. Paradise was not as lucky, despite the efforts made on its behalf as Tassajara has been, and many people are homeless tonight, and not in the way of unsui wandering-cloud monks...

Nate said...

Any news of the solar panels?

kathy whilden said...

What about the sycamore trees? Did they survive.

ilene said...

I am deeply relieved to hear that Tassajara and the five who stayed are safe. I was wondering, though, since the report stated that the fire passed through mercifully fast, are the trees around the monastery still standing? It's my understanding that fast moving fires usually burn just the ground fuel but the large trees will often survive it.

Again this is good news.

Danielle said...

So so relieved to hear this news! Thanks for keeping all of us who care so currently updated. I've never taken Tassajara for granted and the past few weeks have re-affirmed my deep appreciation for all who are a part of the Zen Center family. I will wait to hear that the 'crew' has had some decent rest and others can join them.

chuck said...

my heart started beating again and I took a deep slow breath when Kathryn's message came through a little after five...

most things will regrow, as they did in the 77 fire... Kathy, the sycamore is usually one of the first back and suffers the fewest losses...the oaks around the area are likewise very strong beings... ours have almost completely leafed out now in the 5th summer after the cedar fire...

hope, and the practice have prevailed once again, my greatest thanks and deepest bows to all of you who have kept us lurkers informed...

special thanks to captain Mike...

chuck kimball and nanessence

Diane said...

The wildflowers will be glorious next spring!

Breathing out,

Diane

chuck said...

Indeed they will Diane, do you remember the spring after the 77 fire? we called it the year of the lupine (some of us anyway).... at the first overlook (which was just a wide spot then) the breeze would almost smother one in perfume of the lupiine...

chuck

Diane said...

Oh, yes - I remember the following summer.
I am looking forward to Golden Eardrops and Whispering Bells...

Diane

Anonymous said...

Signing off after these comments anticipating Springtime flowers, a much relieved parent, after an long day.
Walter

ac said...

hi old timers,

the bird house (RIP; hope they rebuild on the spot!) was a fabulous cabin, small but with a key real estate deck, perched up above the gatehouse, further along the trail from the rest of the hill cabins. the place is indelibly intertwined in my memory with dharma sibs david brothers and jen schneider, who between the two of them held that stoop for most of the time i lived there. a place of many wildlife close encounters, that hut. of course, i suppose the great trees that used to shade it are no more, either. lovely to think of wildflowers dotting the countryside in their place, at least.

Chris Baskind said...

Most of you don't know me, but I've been watching your efforts with great interest. This is wonderful news. And now the process of rebirth and renewal begins anew ...

grateful78volunteer said...

Very good news. Very much like 1977. Now don't repeat 1978 and all will be well.

Tony said...

Does anyone know if Tassajara was receiving active air firefighting support (helicopters, planes with water or retardant) during the height of things around 1pm on Thursday?

Any volunteers who were there reading this who could answer?

Thank you.

Stephen said...

So sad about the little bird house but wonderful to see that Tassajara was spared total destruction. My brother (I think) was the current resident of the bird house and my mother spoke fondly of it after she visited. Please get him to work rebuilding it. No slacking David. Time to rebuild. :)

You are all amazing people. I envy your lives and fortitude.

To think about: The Peace Pagoda in western MA had a truly beautiful dojo built by monks and craftsman who traveled from Japan and from all over the world. Very shortly after completed (two years under construction) it burned down. Arson was suspected. I stayed there for a few weeks during the final clean up of the charred remains. Though deeply saddened, never once did I hear any anger directed toward whoever burned it down. They just started over with gratitude for being willing and able to begin again. As they are quite poor, they have been rebuilding slowly since 1987.

http://www.peacepagoda.org/ot.htm

If you see this David, give me a call or write you bum. (Sorry about the little cabin!)

Ernestine said...

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