The Zen Center at Tassajara Hot Springs has been preparing for the arrival of the Basin Fire for almost two weeks. Fire crews have been in and out over the course of the last two weeks but now they are gone according to supporters and friends of the Center.
I have been covering the Basin Complex Fire since the start and all the information I have gathered left me believing firefighters would be available to help the residents of Tassajara should the fire make its way to them.
It seems apparent the fire will visit Tassajara. Barring an unexpected change in the weather the five persons remaining at the center can expect the fire to test how well residents prepared the property.
The fire looks to be within .5 miles or closer to them at the moment. I don’t want to second guess Basin Fire command and I won’t, but it seems to me this compound deserves some resources.
The monks and other residents have cooperated fully with fire representatives and have prepared the grounds carefully, even under supervision to an extent. The Center serves as a spiritual center for many. The occupants are decent guardians of the land and need help.
From the looks of the image below there seems to be adequate escape zones. The fire survived the Marble-Cone Fire and personal accounts recall those on the ground did have adequate safety/escape zones. To what extent the grounds have been improved now I can’t say but the property doesn’t look like anything that can’t be defended with a few engines, a hand crew or two and some air support.
The Center is the only set of buildings on that side of the fire, really the only place that needs defending. Certainly fire officials are watching the situation. I personally believe the cavalry will come riding to the rescue before things really heat up.