This map (also from Big Sur Kate) shows where the Carmel and River fires are in relation to Jamesburg. We will continue to update this page with news from Tassajara as it comes, likely later today. For financial reasons the Tassajara community decided to separate from Danville Fire. 15 people are currently at Tassajara. There are currently four people at Tassajara, two who have professional fire fighting experience and two residents who also have some experience and knowledge of Tassajara systems and terrain. Last night strong northerly winds picked up in the area. Many people spent hard-working hours on fuel … Due to the threat of the fire spreading off of the National Forest DPA, unified command has been established with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, George Haines IC. So the helicopters I heard might have been theirs. Today SFZC Leadership released an expression of gratitude honoring the enormous contribution that Tassajara residents made towards fire abatement this spring and summer. Here is the most current Dolan Fire briefing. Rinso Ed Sattizahn, Abiding Central Abbot The Dolan fire in Big Sur continues to challenge firefighters but in this video from August 31, Dennis Burns, Fire Behavior Analyst, indicates that they might be able to move crews into the Ventana Wilderness and start working on the fires there. Forty guests and twenty-two employees were stranded there. Thousands of people worked tirelessly to keep us, and our friends and neighbors, safe. The size of the pools and the number of pools depends on the temperature. Hot Springs: Gaviota Hot Springs has two hot springs areas. Our gratitude to them is boundless. Now we can focus on more technical things. Our gratitude is boundless. In the past, burying the statues in the bocce ball court has been the form to protect them from fire. In addition to their concern for the concern for the Tassajara center, they pointed readers to a 24 August update from the US Forest Service detailing their efforts to protect the rare California Condor and other species in the area. Currently, President Linda Galijan, Tanto Greg Fain, Director Goyo Piper, and a few students remain at Tassajara to handle basic maintenance and keep Dharma Rain running. Yesterday afternoon various Buddha and bodhisattva statues from around Tassajara were buried in the bocce ball court to protect them should a fire come. About 5 miles upstream from Tassajara, at Church Creek, there are numerous caves that had been inhabited for at least 3500 years. San Francisco Zen Center and Tassajara offer deep gratitude to California Interagency Team 15 and all firefighters throughout the Western United States for their tireless work and dedication during this fire season. We want to express our tremendous gratitude to the residents of Tassajara who have done so much work this spring and summer in preparation for the possibility of fire. Tassajara is NOT currently included in this order: see Tassajara, River & Carmel Fires - Monterey Co. Office of Emergency Services, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility. In this photo, some of the statues look on as the trench is dug. Please know how much appreciation is coming your way. Tassajara staffers have fought off various wildfires, including the 1977 Marble Cone Fire, the largest fire to date in the Big Sur region. The Carmel Fire evacuation orders were lifted for Jamesburg in Zone 5 and we’re happy to report that people are able to return home today. Now we can focus on more technical things. Tassajara Hot Springs fire not threatening Camp Pico Blanco. The Dolan fire continues to burn into the Ventana Wilderness but does not immediately threaten Tassajara. Big Sur has two hot springs which are open to the public; Sykes Hot Springs and the hot springs located at the Esalen Institute. As the local residents gained more experience and knowledge in fire fighting tactics and strategy, they began to consider the idea of becoming their own fire agency. The story begins in June of 2008 just before the lightning storm that triggers the fires while normal summer activities are happening and usual guests and staff are present. There are currently three active fires in Monterey Co: River Fire (near Salinas), Carmel Fire (Cachagua Rd. to reduce fuel for the fire. For a history of fire at Tassajara, see David Chadwick's Tassajara Fire History page on Cuke.com and the online version of the 1977-78 Wind Bell. While acknowledging that things can change rapidly in these situations, today they feel optimistic and energized. CAL FIRE Incident: This is not a CAL FIRE incident. For information on the Dolan Fire (Big Sur/Ventana Wilderness) this update from the US Forest Service is very useful. The hot springs area is the runoff from the main pool. They will leave Tassajara on 9/22 and be replaced by a new crew which will include President Linda Galijan, Tassajara Tanto Greg Fain, and Tassajara Director Goyo Piper. The Trail to Sykes Hot Springs has been closed until further notice because of the Soberanes Fire. Fire prep will continue and is now the main focus. The persistent blaze began with an unattended campfire in Garrapata State Park and swept southeast into the Los Padres National Forest. The photo above is of the sprinkler system Dharma Rain on the roof of the retreat building. The group called the Esselen made this area their home. Meanwhile, all is well at Tassajara and the crew is continuing a schedule of maintenance and prep. Dolan Fire, Final Update An additional person, who has plant manager and some firefighting experience, arrived yesterday from Green Gulch Farm, making a total of five people currently at Tassajara. Tassajara Hot Springs suffered major damage from a 1,400-acre fire in September of 1949. We really want to acknowledge what was done and stress the value of preventative work.”. Many people spent hard-working hours on fuel reduction, pump and Dharma Rain maintenance, care for the grounds, as well as all the regular everyday upkeep. In Marin, the Woodward Fire crews were able to build lines on its southernmost border, going back to the Baldy Trail, which is good news for Bolinas, GGF, and other communities. We will continue to post on this page, as needed, with the most up-to-date information we have. First enjoyed by the Esselen people for its restorative hot spring waters, Tassajara became a resort before the turn of the century and painted a colorful history along the way. Continue another 7 miles on the spectacular but very rugged road to the Tassajara Zen Center and Hot Springs where they welcome day guests during the guest season (April - September). They have bathrooms in the park. The Dolan fire has burned 21,844 acres (8,840 hectares) and was 15 per cent contained as of Wednesday morning, according to the US Forest Service. The hot springs are in a wash area and rain in the off season does sweep away the sand bags. For the most up-to-date information on the fire, we find the U.S. Forest Service - Los Padres National Forest Facebook page to be the most current as they often post twice a day with the latest updates. For details, see this update which starts at 9:15. Also available in Spanish. Due to the ongoing situation with Covid-19, Tassajara is closed for the rest of the 2020 season. A gripping narrative as well as a portrait of the Zen path and the ways of wildfire, Fire Monks reveals what it means to meet a crisis with full presence of mind. Tassajara is very much on the Pacific Northwest Team 2's radar and the Tassajara crew is in direct communication with them. Motor homes and oversize vehicles are prohibited on the one-way sections of the Hot Springs road. The historic Tassajara Zen Mountain Center has been spared from the flames. Continue past our property about 7 miles up Tassajara Road to the China Camp trail head with trails to the Ventana Wilderness that reach all the way to the Big Sur Coast. Due to extremely hot, dry weather over the past few days, the size of the Dolan Fire has grown considerably. Clothing is not optional. This page will be updated with news regarding Tassajara and Jamesburg and the current fire situation. And thank you, once again and as always, to the firefighters and other officials who are fighting so hard to keep everyone safe. Some of the tasks they are performing are covering windows, laying hoses, clearing fuel, testing systems, and other prep work. Here's a report from this morning that goes into more detail. Most of this growth has been into the Ventana Wilderness. The River and Carmel Fires are above 55% containment for both fires and we will no longer be following them closely. The center is a monastery and retreat center in the remote Ventana Wilderness in central California. We are grateful to report that this weekend, a group of professional firefighters are scheduled to arrive to lend their hand in preparing Tassajara for a possible fire. Currently the Dolan Fire is staying south and east of Tassajara. This image from the blog shows where the fire is in relation to Tassajara. We join our neighbors in thanking them for an incredible job, both in fighting the fire and communicating with those of us concerned about it. Another SFZC practice center, Green Gulch Farm, was close to the Woodward fire but was not under immediate threat. The River Fire is at 48% containment and Carmel is at 45%, so the general feeling is that the fires have turned a significant corner today. The Tassajara Fire September, 1999. The River Fire is coming closer as it moves south. The wind is predicted to shift over the next day or so and the situation is being closely monitored as it unfolds. When a massive wildfire surrounded Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, five monks risked their lives to save it. Jamesburg was evacuated yesterday afternoon. It’s with much gratitude and relief that we announce that this will be the last post to this page on the Dolan Fire near Tassajara, as it is now 98% contained. Their spirits are good and readiness remains their top priority. Helen Degenhardt, Board Chair Since 1967, the hot springs have been the site of a Buddhist monastery which is opened to visitors during the summer months only. Their work, as well as the work of many students over the summer, is deeply appreciated by those of us who care for Tassajara. The center is a monastery and retreat center in the remote Ventana Wilderness in central California. If you would like to keep a close eye on things, we can highly recommend two sources: If anything should change in regards to Tassajara and the Dolan Fire, we will post to this page as soon as we possibly can. There was a two story sandstone hotel, where the zendo and upper garden is now. With the aid and guidance of the Forest Service Hotshot Crews, backfires w… Arthur Story and his wife were among the first residents of the lookout. In 1919, a family resided in a government-owned cabin at the summit, which also served as a fire lookout. Tassajara is NOT currently included in this order: see Tassajara on this map, lower right. They improved the property and renamed it The Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, or Zenshinji (Zen Mind Temple), during Shunryu Suzuki's tenure as its first abbot. The Pacific Northwest Incident Management Team 2 assumed command of the Dolan Fire yesterday following a successful transition with California Incident Management Team 2. This morning's update confirms this: They will be carefully wrapped before being buried. About Tassajara. From sanluisobispo.com, The Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, one of the three practice centers associated with the San Francisco Zen Center (SFZC), is under threat from the Dolan fire, one of 23 large wildfires currently burning in California, according to firefighting officials. Green Gulch Farm remains alert but is not in the evacuation warning zone. This means that people are not allowed to visit, hike, or camp in the area, nor use any of the closed roads or trails. This is the latest map from the US Forest Service (USFS). A 5-person module from the Bureau of Land Management visited recently and helped install more pumps for Dharma Rain. Of course this could change at any moment, depending on winds, weather, and other unpredictable circumstances. This is good news as it will bring more resources and local expertise to the area. There was an evacuation warning yesterday from the county (not an evacuation order). Astonishingly pleasant! We want to express our tremendous gratitude to the residents of Tassajara who have done so much work this spring and summer in preparation for the possibility of fire. Everyone there is closely monitoring the fire activity and the winds. On the map above, Tassajara is located in the center towards the top, to the right of the word "Ventana." Hot Springs: Boy Scout Hot Springs is in the middle of a tall beautiful wash canyon along the Colorado River in Arizona. Tassajara would not exist without the people who make it so. During this time when the fire is not an immediate threat to Tassajara, we may not be updating this page very frequently. The Woodward Fire is holding at its southernmost border and evacuation orders have not changed. Monterey County, Four miles west of Arroyo Seco Tassajara Hot Springs near the Zen Center. The numerous fire crews that fought the River, Carmel, and Dolan fires are the reason Tassajara and Jamesburg are still standing. They are working hard on structure prep (readying buildings should fire come.) The hot springs have been the site of various resorts since the 1860s. Another good source is InciWeb, the national incident information system for wildfires and all-hazard incidents. Fires continue to burn and we continue to send our gratitude and energy towards those on the front lines in Marin, Monterey, and beyond to the hundreds of fires burning throughout California and the West. Tassajara Hot Springs is a Buddhist Monastery that opens its doors to visitors each summer. Tassajara observes special quiet-time hours with respect to our residents and students beginning at 8 pm and ending after soji (temple cleaning) at 8:30 am the following morning. The crew who is at Tassajara now sent this message: "We would be so much further behind the curve if that work wasn’t performed. We can run all of these sprinklers simultaneously with three Honda fire pumps pulling creek water into the standpipe system combined with the head pressure from our irrigation tank.". The growth has been mostly to the south and east, and has also moved very slightly towards Tassajara. The hot water comes out of the hot springs like carbonated soda water. Laura Burges, a Zen student, remembered, “The Forest Service insisted that we evacuate. Contact the Administrative Unit for more information. Additionally, Tassajara is mentioned as an area that they are continuing to keep their eye on as the terrain is too rough to put in crews (starting at 5:10). We deeply appreciate your expressions of concern and love during this time and send wishes of good health and safety to the many communities facing these fires in California and beyond. The fire season is still active, of course, and we will remain vigilant in our efforts until the rains come, but for now we feel it’s time to close this page. Overnight camping in the area of the Hot Springs is prohibited. The Woodward Fire north of Green Gulch Farm remains active. Five semi-trained staff members chose to remain behind, against the advice of professional fire-fighting personnel, and successfully defended the resort from the fire. . As we … The eastern edge of the fire is being monitored but resources and personnel are limited, so most of the attention and crews are focused on the more populated areas in Big Sur. "The fire has been growing approximately 1,000 acres each day. Meanwhile, all who remain are well and working hard to clear brush and run Dharma Rain, our sprinkler system. The Pacific Northwest Team 2 is working very hard to keep the fire south of Willow Creek and the southern end of Tassajara Creek. Tassajara is at the bottom of the long green vertical shape, just to the right of the words "Ventana Wilderness.". However, the southern edge held through the night which is very good news for Bolinas, Green Gulch Farm and our neighboring communities. Fire Updates (San Francisco Zen Center) Incidents (CalFire) Dolan Fire Condor and Species of Concern Update (Facebook) California condor sanctuary near Big Sur ‘completely destroyed’ as Dolan Fire spreads (San Luis Obispo Tribune), Monks Perform Healing Ritual at California Town Affected by Devastating Wildfire Buddhist Humanitarian Organization Tzu Chi USA Offers a Helping Hand to California Wildfire Victims California Wildfire Update: Abhiyagiri Monastics Return Home After Sheltering at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas California Wildfires Drive Buddhists from their Monasteries, You can fill in your email to receive a new reply. Note: As of this writing, the Woodward Fire in Marin County is still active and several miles away from Green Gulch Farm. The Dolan fire near Big Sur, California. Tuesday, the SFZC leadership wrote to express thanks to all those who have worked diligently to protect Tassajara: We want to express our tremendous gratitude to the residents of Tassajara who have done so much work this spring and summer in preparation for the possibility of fire. They will be leaving on Tuesday 9/22 and replaced with California Interagency Team 15. The Dolan Fire grew to 2500 acres overnight and is exhibiting extreme fire behavior. The photos below were sent this morning from Tassajara. San Francisco Zen Center and Tassajara send love and support to our surrounding neighbors and everyone impacted by the fires. Danville Fire stayed the official fire protection agency of the Tassajara area through the 1960's. Though the amount of land consumed by the blaze has been updated by fire officials to nearly 169 square miles, the percent of containment still stands at 41 percent. This indicates a “smoke check.” I have inquiries out, so will see what info I can get. Update 7-18 0880: 174 acres 55% contained. As with all fires, there is much uncertainty and the situation can change rapidly. It was very strange leaving Tassajara in this long caravan of cars and going up the road, and sort of looking back and wondering if we’d ever see it again.“ At one point the fire surrounded the monastery. The source is 125 degrees and flows into natural man made pools with sand bags. Copyright © 2021 Buddhistdoor Limited (Buddhistdoor Global). The Dolan fire's eastern edge continues to burn into the Ventana and firefighters are monitoring it near the North Coast Ridge Road and North Coast Ridge trail. (Firefighting crews have to rotate out after 14 days.) This task was performed with great reverence, ceremony, and care by Kogen, a SFZC priest who is one of the four fire crew members currently at Tassajara. The fire went on to burn ten of twenty cottages, a shop, and a recreation building. The US Forest Service reported this morning that the winds kept the south and east flanks of the fire very active overnight. Team 2 is very aware of Tassajara. The Los Padres National Forest officials issued a forest order closing the Dolan Fire area on the Monterey Ranger District to the public, effective today, August 26. The Dolan Fire Emergency Area Closure has been expanded to include Tassajara and the lower part of Tassajara Road. In August 1977 the Big Sur-Marble Cone fire, which burned 200,000 acres of the Los Padres National Forest, almost destroyed Tassajara. Other trigger points for evacuation have been established around the incident. Today SFZC Leadership released an expression of gratitude honoring the enormous contribution that Tassajara residents made towards fire abatement this spring and summer. This morning they reported that all is well. There isn’t 100% confidence yet that they will hold, so this is not being counted in the containment percentages. 07/17/2013 13:09 LPF-2176 Tassajara Smoke Check Tassajara Hot Springs . Deep bows of appreciation to both teams. In late fall as the river goes down there are more soaking options. Alcoholic beverages and glass containers are prohibited. . They have been working hard on "fuel reduction"—clearing brush, dead trees, etc. No news is good news, at least so far. Also, this update from last night contains some analysis and also expresses concerns about today’s weather patterns. It looks like several of the crew members of the Pacific Northwest Team 2 are going to tap out for some rest after working on this fire every day for twenty days. Sky Ranch has lost several homes. However, my thermometer indicates mid-80s in the valley. We are happy to report that while the Dolan Fire is not yet completely contained, it remains far enough away from Tassajara that the current crew, who have been at Tassajara for over a month, will be able to step away for a while and take a break. This task was performed with great reverence, ceremony, and care by Kogen, a SFZC priest who is one of the four fire crew members currently at Tassajara. While tens of thousands of residents across the state have been forced to evacuate their homes, the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center is not yet in immediate danger. The Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, one of the three practice centers associated with the San Francisco Zen Center (SFZC), is under threat from the Dolan fire, one of 23 large wildfires currently burning in California, according to firefighting officials. On Friday afternoon, six of the eight remaining students left Tassajara and safely made their way to City Center, Green Gulch Farm, and other locations. This is the story of Tassajara Zen Center during the dry summer of 2008 when it was almost destroyed by the Basin Complex fire. JOSH EDELSON/Getty Images Show More Show Less 19 of 40 A wooden bridge was burned down by the Valley Fire at Harbin Hot Springs near Middletown, California, on Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. The fire is currently not threatening Tassajara but the hot weather predicted for the weekend is a concern and will be monitored closely. To get a sense of how far the fire is from Tassajara, each square equals one mile. Evacuation is still in effect for Jamesburg as fire crews work to contain the southeastern end of both fires which are still showing some activity. The Carmel and River fires are still burning and evacuation orders are still in place for Jamesburg. In this photo, some of the statues look on as the trench is dug. [Some details in this paragraph corrected on September 15, 12:30 pm from the September 14, 7:30 pm version.]. Hot Spring Tips: Tassajara Hot Springs is open to the public only in the summer season.Reservations are required. This video update and this report offer details. The Center was closed to guests for the remainder of 2016. Hot Springs: Kirkham Hot Springs is public and free and all natural hot springs. From Lauren, a GGF resident: “Air quality is highly variable throughout the day. —from Los Padres National Forest Facebook. Tenzen David Zimmerman, City Center Abiding Abbot Our hearts are with our neighbors and communities that still haven't seen the end of these fires. This Monterey County 2020 Fire Page has maps and the most up-to-date information on all three fires. Hot Spring Tips: Big Bend Hot Springs has no overnight accommodations. The two remaining students and a GGF resident who arrived yesterday with a fire professional have the skills and experience that will be helpful to these efforts and are very familiar with Tassajara and the surrounding terrain. have been forced to evacuate their homes, the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center is not yet in immediate danger. By clicking the plus sign, you can zoom in on the map and find Jamesburg in the upper middle of Zone 5. She says: "Today the weather has been in the high 90s, low 60s for Arroyo Seco, so that is good for evaluating fire risk. They have been staying in touch with our crew and working closely with them. They will be carefully wrapped before being buried.”, Along with these activities, workers continue to clear brush to reduce fuel for the fire should it reach the center and run the center’s sprinkler system, nicknamed “Dharma Rain.” With all of the watering taking place, Greg Fain, a longtime Tassajara resident, described his experience as, Dolan Fire Condor and Species of Concern Update, California condor sanctuary near Big Sur ‘completely destroyed’ as Dolan Fire spreads, Monks Perform Healing Ritual at California Town Affected by Devastating Wildfire, Buddhist Humanitarian Organization Tzu Chi USA Offers a Helping Hand to California Wildfire Victims, California Wildfire Update: Abhiyagiri Monastics Return Home After Sheltering at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, California Wildfires Drive Buddhists from their Monasteries. They are continuing to work on fuel reduction and are running Dharma Rain (the fire prevention sprinkler system) at full capacity. Sozan Diego Miglioli, Vice President. Pacific Northwest Team 2 stayed an additional week beyond their usual 14-day time-frame to fight the Dolan Fire as there wasn't a team available to replace them. In this case, no news really is good news. Frances Simes Hastings Natural History Reservation: The History of a Biological Field Station in Carmel Valley. The 12 feet (3.7 m) tall steel frame tower supporting the 13 by 13 feet (4.0 m × 4.0 m) cab was built in 1929. The sangha is currently focused on establishing evacuation plans and preparing for all eventualities. For information specific to the fires in the area of Tassajara, we have found the blog site Big Sur Kate to be very helpful. Chews Ridge, CA-- The Tassajara Fire, started by an unusual lightning storm on Sept. 8, eventually led to the evacuation of the Zen Buddhist monastery at Tassajara Hot Springs. The Tassajara hotel fire happened on September 9, 1949. The Dolan fire has burned 21,844 acres (8,840 hectares) and was 15 per cent contained as of Wednesday morning, according to the US Forest Service. The Carmel Fire (the one that is closest to Jamesburg) was relatively quiet last night but officials are concerned about a weather change that is due today that could bring high winds. (They have also been secured in a Stone Room.) The safety of the crew at Tassajara is our utmost concern. All rights reserved. Tassajara would not exist without the people who make it so. Fire retardant can’t be used within 300 feet of a waterway so the use of these water drops is very important. At the Dolan Fire Community Meeting 2 pm today (watch video here). Residents are running Dharma Rain (the sprinkler system that helps to keep buildings and the general area damp) every day; the pumps are all working smoothly. Everyone is fine and safe in Carmel Valley. Update 7-21 0880: Tassajara Fire LPF-2176. From Elliot at Tassajara: "We have approximately 80 sprinkler heads installed throughout the valley which are all operational and cover just about every built structure we have. The temperatures of the hot springs waterfalls average 95 - 110 degrees. We're grateful that the Carmel and River fires are no longer a concern, and the Woodward fire in Marin is much quieter in its southern borders, taking some pressure off Green Gulch Farm. The first (the vehicle is parked in the center of Tassajara) shows fuel reduction work; the second shows Dharma Rain on the solar panels. Unless there is a significant development, we will not be posting to this page over the weekend. A new professional firefighting crew, the Northern Rockies Team 2, arrived yesterday and is now in charge of the fire. A Tassajara Scrapbook by David Rogers (Literature Pertaining to Tassajara Hot Springs, Santa Lucia Mountains, Monterey County, California from 1861 to 1949) A Flora of Tassajara by David Rogers (PDF) - plants present and past. Ryushin Paul Haller, Urban Temple Dharma Teacher near Jamesburg), and Dolan Fire (Big Sur, close to Esalen.) While tens of thousands of residents. The main hot springs is cemented rock walled tub. In this photo, some of the statues look on as the trench is dug. The Dolan Fire is at 15% containment and firefighters are focusing on the populated areas along Highway 1, while keeping an eye on the fire's eastern movement. Green Gulch Farm is continuing to monitor the situation and refining their evacuation procedures. They will be hiking to the fire from the landing zone and begin the construction of (a) line on the fire’s edge." Tassajara Hot Springs is a collection of natural hot springs in the Ventana Wilderness, within the Santa Lucia Range and Los Padres National Forest in Monterey County, California. Everyone at Tassajara is doing well and keeping busy. Tassajara is mentioned towards the end of the meeting, starting at 14:10. The Dolan Fire is 87% contained, with the majority of the perimeter under control. Those from Jamesburg remain evacuated and are doing well. Meanwhile, Linda is there short-term; the others will remain indefinitely. We have heard that CalFire is planning to back burn on the Carmel Fire hoping to stop it about mid-Cachagua Road (I think), saving the Jamesburg side. Thank you for your care and concern for Tassajara and GGF. There is some concern as the winds will be picking up in the next several days. Tassajara was threatened by the 2016 Soberanes Fire, but escaped damage.
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