Big Sur Valley, OES, Nepenthe tonight


I traversed the Big Sur Valley today speaking with business owners. People are coming back and setting up their computers and trying to get resettled. The Monterey County Office of Emergency Services and Patrick Maris, Senior Building Inspector & Roger Van Horn, Senior Environmental Health Specialist have been making inspections all day. I believe all businesses are passing. I haven’t heard otherwise.

From what I saw all the businesses are cleaning and preparing for an opening which will still be a few days from now as best as we can tell. No date has been set. A series of inspections are taking place and we’ll get through this process as quickly as possible.

Fire hoses that were strewn throughout the valley are being picked up. They’re in piles alongside the roadway and flatbed trucks are picking them up. Here’s a photo:


Big Sur Valley cleanup

Big Sur Valley cleanup

The lawn at the Henry Miller Memorial Library looks great. It should take a two week break in the middle of summer every year.

Nepenthe will be open at 5:00 PM tonight with a limited menu. – obviously locals only and firefighters and people inside the soft closure.

Although the fire danger appears to be very low in the business district of the Big Sur valley, in southern Big Sur, in the Dolan creek area, the fight goes on. I saw Mark Hudson at Nepenthe and he had been up all night fighting the fire to protect their home. Another family defending their own property successfully. He looked like a Chimney Sweep without the top hat.

Coast Gallery certainly had a close call evidenced by the image here.


There are a lot of heros, and of course villains, in every story as dynamic as the Big Sur Fire of 2008 and stories will be told for the rest of our lives. Three of the unsung heros from here at Post Ranch Inn are Mike, Jesus, and Martin who stayed inside the evacuation zone with us and managed the water pumps and generators at Post Ranch Inn to keep water flowing into the pond. They stayed up all night with us watching the fire, keeping sentry, afraid as we were to take our eyes off the fire line as it worked its way into the valley. They slept on top of the water storage tanks and made sure the pumps never stopped. All the records aren’t in but Mike said 320,000 gallons of water was pumped into the pond for the helicopters to extract. Sometimes three helicopters would be involved in their tight choreography spinning over the tops of the redwoods to pull water from the pond.

I took a drive through Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and all and all it looks pretty good. The fire burned down to the campgrounds and to the road in a few places. 

If a picture is worth a thousand words, I just spared you 5,000 words of me attempting to be Hemingway. Enjoy the photos.

Watch for other businesses to start opening their doors this evening and tomorrow to take care of firefighters and those inside the soft closure.


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