There was a great article on our Big Sur Fire Department in yesterday’s SF Chronicle. It discusses the challenges of dwindling numbers of volunteers, lack of affordable housing, huge coverage area, and increasing numbers of tourists. It is well worth your time to read. While they are not mentioned in the article, the Mid Coast Volunteer Fire Brigade in Palo Colorado Canyon, where the Colorado fire started, faces the same issues as the Bis Sur Fire.
“It was just after 5 p.m. on a Friday when Rafael Garcia, a bartender at Big Sur River Inn, was about to start his shift.
Then suddenly, his pager went off.
Garcia, a volunteer with Big Sur Fire, dropped everything, geared up and within minutes was picked up in the middle of Highway 1 and headed straight for the Colorado Fire, a blaze that started Jan. 21 when a winter burn pile that wasn’t completely extinguished spread to more than 650 acres, causing dramatic flames to rise above Bixby Bridge, the evacuation of 50 homes and closure of a stretch of Highway 1 for five days.
The conflagration was most notable for the time of year that it happened. In Garcia’s 11 years since becoming certified as a volunteer firefighter in Big Sur, he said he’s never before seen a wildfire take hold in January.”
You can read the rest of the article Here