South Coast Fire Mitigation Meeting

January 31, 2012

Dear Big Sur Friends and Neighbors:

The Basin Complex and Chalk Fires of 2008 made us all aware of some of the potential threats to our community. In order to reduce future fire danger in the wild land-urban interface in which we all live, the Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade applied for and was granted, through the Monterey Fire Safe Council, $178,000 by the US Forest Service. This money is to be used to create defensible space along strategic roadways, on ridge tops and along slopes.

It is estimated that this amount of money will enable us to treat a maximum of only 175 acres on the South Coast. The area we are dealing with is huge. It is South of Essalen institute to the Monterey County line, from the Ocean East past the Coast Ridge Road. Therefore, funds will be allocated on a “first come, first served” basis.

We are acutely aware of the aesthetic, environmental and archeological treasures of Big Sur. To this end, we are working with Jonathon Pangburn a Registered Forester with Cal Fire, to manage parts of this project. Jonathon is currently working on environmental review and compliance with the California Coastal Commission on this project. He will write prescriptions for each area to reduce fuel loads by thinning flammable brush, removing or mulching dead and downed trees, and limbing live trees. We will focus primarily on access roads to private property as well as fuel breaks on private parcels. This work is designed to create a mosaic, open, natural setting which is beneficial to wildlife while, at the same time, helping to create defensible space.

Bulldozers to create “fuel breaks” will not be used as part of this project.

If you would like to find out more about this unique opportunity to protect both yourself and your neighbors, we invite you attend an informational meeting to be held at Pacific Valley School in the Community Center on Sunday, February 26th, 3:00 – 5:00 pm. If you are unable to attend, please feel free to contact John Handy for additional information:

John Handy (805)927-2820

Looking forward to seeing you on the 26th,

Sincerely, John Handy
Board Member, Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade