in the Los Padres National Forest near Big Sur has raged to 2,000 acres and is completely out of control.
The raging fire forced the evacuation of a national forest campground as well as 300 people
from the well-known Tassajara Zen Center.
According to the incident report from the US Forest Service, the fire broke out Thursday night in the Ventana Wilderness section of the national forest south of Monterey, and it raged through parched chaparral, grass
, and scrub on steep slopes in record temperatures and an unending drought
. Aircraft are dropping water
and fire retardant to assist firefighters
battling the blaze amid difficult terrain.
The #WillowFire is at 2,000 acres with zero percent containment. Continuing hot and dry weather
conditions with an increase in winds. Winds from the west are pushing the fire towards Tassajara Zen Center and Hot Springs. Over 300 personnel on the fire. https://t.co/CXQ9PetVei
pic.twitter.com/lE1EuYyE6P — Los Padres NF (@LosPadresNF)
Despite the fact that the zen center was largely evacuated, no buildings were burned, and members of the center's fire crew remained behind to fight the fire with its sprinkler system, which it refers to as "Dharma rain."
“Our water supplies are adequate, and we are well prepared for this situation,” Sozan Miglioli, president
of the San Francisco
Zen Center, which operates the Tassajara monastery, said.
“During the pandemic
shutdown, Tassajara has been working on special fire prep projects, and the fire crew has been in place and training for several months,” Miglioli added in a statement. “Right now, there are four engines at Tassajara (two from CalFire and two from the Forest Service), and they are assisting our Fire Team to prepare.
On Saturday night, the fire was getting closer to the center.
Fire crews stationed at Tassajara Zen Ctr (not sure how many), both to protect structures *and* to prevent fire from reaching/moving down Tassajara Rd, which would be difficult to stop#willowfire is in area not burned since 1977; parts of Tassajara Rd haven't burned since 1928! — Tassajara Fire Watch
(@CVFireWatch) June 20, 2021
According to authorities, the Willow Fire in California
's Monterey County has grown to 2,000 acres as of Saturday, burning in steep, rugged terrain only accessible by foot; some residents in the surrounding areas have been evacuated, while others are under evacuation warnings. pic.twitter.com/AhRy11K4rw — CBS News
(@CBSNews) June 20, 2021