Increased Smoke & a note on Tassajara

Quick update, for those who are checking, and then I’ll do a a more complete update tonight.
The wind really picked up, up here on my ridge all afternoon.

I see increased smoke plumes to the north east of me, possibly by Rodeo Flats, but I cannot tell. I am hoping this is part of the back burning operation, because I have been unable to find any info on it.

The fire is at Tassajara. 5 people remained behind, but not firefighters, as it was felt to be too dangerous.

“Director David Zimmerman reported via telephone that everyone is safe at Tassajara and that the fire has entered Tassajara. The crew is putting out spot fires, and they are continuing to water down the buildings and the grounds. The feeling is that with the watering, the riparian valley is defending against the fire. We will continue to update you as information becomes available.”


Sadness and Hope, 7/9/08 evening

There are many other places to get “official” information, so tonight, I want to provide you with impressions, thoughts, and photographs. Big Sur still is and will be. It has simply changed. It is the phoenix, rising. It is the power of the human spirit, the vastness of Mother Nature. To me, it symbolizes what we are capable of.

I witnessed the smoke on the north side of the Little Sur River. Heavy smoke.

Approaching Andrew Molera State Park, the blackened hills were clearly visible.

I drove all the way from Carmel to Gorda this afternoon. I pulled over a number of times to cry. And yet, I saw many Big Surians who are hopeful — positively working to bring us back to the beauty and spiritual awakening that brought most of us here, in the first place. And people who were gathering together in the spirit of cooperation bringing a vast array of talents and interests together.

Michael Miller of Miller Construction, Rocky Creek, brought together the Monterey Planning Department, homeowners, contractors, and even an insurance adjuster for a meeting at the Grange this afternoon.

Mike Stevens, a local plumber , literally, chased me down on the highway near the State Park and told me about the meeting at the Grange, suggesting (strongly, I might add, as he followed me to MAF to make sure I understood the meeting was at the Grange — Thank you, Mike) that I attend this meeting. I did, and was glad I did, even though I could stay only long enough to catch the mood of the meeting, and not long enough to hear the Monterey County Planning Department tell us how they were going to work with homeowners who were damaged, and how they could make us whole. I left, knowing that there was a land-use lawyer, Aengus Jeffers present.

I apologized for having to leave, but I still had to drive through the tough Anderson Canyon to Big Creek active fire area, and I had a long, slow drive home. As I left, my dear friend, Joyce Duffy, followed me out for one of the hugs that Big Sur is so famous for. We hug freely here, and often. She had not been back to Stone Ridge to see the remains of her house. That would wait for another time. I left, feeling confident about the range of community representation that was present.

Scorched earth and green trees

Clean up is in progress. Hoses waiting by the side of the road, waiting for pick up.

The Anderson Canyon area to just before Big Creek, was still active. However, the fog was up to the road, the temperatures were cool, humidity was high, so things were moving slowly and there were engines and crews on hand, keeping an eye on things. South Coast smoke.

And, finally, tonight’s sunset, once again.