Basin vs. Pfeiffer Fires & MCSO response

I witnessed first hand the attitude of the cops in Big Sur during this fire, vs. the last one, and I know it came from the top down. Scott Miller defeated the last despot, and I worked to elect Sheriff Miller in any way I could, and was so happy to see that my trust was well-placed. He even follows my blog, and greets me at public meetings. While the deputies did their jobs, and tried to keep people both safe and out of the way of emergency vehicles, they all (that I encountered anyway) did so with compassion and understanding. sheriff Miller kept the road open, and neighbors connected. It was such a different experience – a welcome experience.

The Herald did an excellent article on this difference. I quote some of it below.

“Monterey County sheriff’s officials say they have taken a “180-degree turn” in their response to the Pfeiffer Ridge Fire in Big Sur compared to the area’s Basin Complex Fire in 2008.

“We hope that almost everything is different — a philosophical change,” Sheriff Scott Miller said.

Cmdr. Bill Kaye, who is usually posted at the Monterey substation, has been in Big Sur every day since the fire started, accompanied by Sgt. Joe Moses. Miller said “double or triple” the usual number of deputies are working in the area.

But part of the “philosophical change” means a different way of dealing with homeowners who choose not to evacuate, the sheriff said.

“For people who stayed in place, we don’t condone that.

But we are trying to be supportive,” Miller said.
As in the 2008 Basin Complex Fire, some residents are “trying to do their own fire protection activities,” he said.

“There are people who have never left the area. Some are trying to preserve their property or their friends’ property,” he said. “We’re not arresting anyone who isn’t leaving. It doesn’t resolve any problems.”

For the full article go here: Hersld Article

Here is a sample photo:

By David Royal, Herald photographer. More available at site.

6 thoughts on “Basin vs. Pfeiffer Fires & MCSO response

  1. A Big T Y , Kate , for your foresight , to change the things you could . This analysis of your observations of how this Pfeiffer Fire , was treated so much better , and differently , than ever before , is yet another example , of the pioneering , and self sufficient spirit of the Big Sur people , God Bless You All .

  2. My late Dad, a very smart and honest man, used to say “vote the bastards out” when politics got in the way of what was best for the citizens.

    Godspeed all of you as you get back to homes, know that prayers are coming from many quarters and much love.

  3. Absolutely thrilling to read. Within five minutes of the fire news I wondered who would be dragged off in handcuffs. For politicians (or sheriffs) to think the public has a short memory is sheer folly. Well done, Kate of Big Sur, well done. You renew the surity in us that change is possible. My Grandpa Alfred’s advice to my12 year old self: ‘You don’t have to put up with anything in life you don’t like, little girl.’ He was right.

  4. The Herald has other recent articles and photos on the fire, besides the one that Kate provided the link to. The photos showing the burned ridges are stark. However, the photo that I found most startling was #16 (of because of the caption which states that “Sherrie Collins of the the Monterey County Office of Emergency Services holds up a disaster recovery guide as she informs people that lost their homes that they are ineligible for state and federal recovery funds during the community meeting update on the Pfeiffer Ridge Fire…” Can somebody explain to me why that is true?

  5. Suzi, what I read is that there is a threshold re number of houses affected, infrastructure affected, etc., and that there was a minimum threshold number/amount that had to be satisfied before federal disaster relief kicked in. We’ve faced this before and lost.

    bigsurkate, on a mountain top in Big Sur

  6. I was so happy to hear the positive comments for Scott Miller and Cmdr. Kaye. I believe our Sheriff is doing an incredible job. Please remember these positive vibes next year for re-election!! BTW, he is my cousin, so even more proud!

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