Fire Restrictions & other Fire-related topics

I just noticed that several queries were made via google for “fire restrictions – prewitt ridge” which directed the requestor to my site. YES, fire restrictions are still in effect – no open campfires and no charcoal stoves. Propane stoves ONLY at this time.

Also, a reminder that the major fund-raiser for the BSVFB is coming up on Halloween Night at Nepenthe – the Bal Masque. It is always a wonderful time for everyone. After what happened to Rachel Short last year, I hope everyone will drink responsibly and/or have a DD along.

Finally, a word from our Fire Chief:

“October 23, 2011

Dear Big Sur Residents,

Two years ago the Big Sur area received a grant for over $430,000 for wildfire fuel reduction in areas on the west side of Highway One between Esalen and Andrew Molera State Park. CERT leaders worked very hard to make this happen. The clearing has finally begun with contracts going to local and out of town contractors to do the work either by hand or with equipment.

The work done so far in the Clear Ridge area looks wonderful and will make a huge difference in the event of a fire. However, we are now hearing that some property owners do not want the work done. To leave areas with thick dense fuel where a fire can take hold and spread will completely defeat the purpose.

The areas being treated are either private property or on road company easement. If you don’t want any work done on your private property that is up to you. Work being done on road easement is exactly that, road easement, not private property, where the road company makes the decision on what will occur.

We would like to remind you of the Basin fire, one of the most devastating fires in our area which happened only three years ago. How quickly some of us have forgotten the lessons learned from this fire, with the IC stating he would not send engines to protect homes where the access was overgrown.

We at the Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade have not forgotten and quite frankly are very dismayed at the attitude of some of the residents in Big Sur. It would appear that some of you expect us to send our firefighters to fight fire and risk their lives to protect your homes, but you are refusing to provide safe passage for them to do so!! We will not risk the lives of our members and will not send them into dangerous areas. You must do your part if you expect an engine to respond to your emergency.

The clearing is like mowing a lawn, there are no roots disturbed and everything will eventually grow back. It will not make the hill sides erode. You should make plans to maintain the work that has been done to prevent overgrowth. We have received approval for the project, all permits have been issued and a licensed forester is closely monitoring the process.

You have chosen to live in an area where the danger of wild land fire will always be present, please help us out by choosing to provide safe access to your home, and remember, if or when we get there, 100 foot clearance around your home is the law!

Martha Karstens, Chief
On behalf of the Members and Board of Directors, BSVFB.”

One thought on “Fire Restrictions & other Fire-related topics

  1. Wonderful, impassioned and excellent points made. Right on all counts. I like the clear defining of the firefighter’s obligations to the community you serve. And that it does not include death due to neighborhood petulance. Your presence and dedication is much appreciated by the majority of Big Sur residents and none forgets the flaming nightmares of three years ago. Congratulations on the heroic negotiating to make it safer here by clearing undergrowth. Bless you all. You too, Kate, for this fine public forum and first alert system you’ve built.

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