Mountain Fire at Zen Center: Update
July 22, 2013 by Yugen
Fire crews remove blocked culverts and debris from the stream
Over the last couple of days, a small crew of residents worked through the day and into the night at Yokoji, evacuating when the rain intensified bringing the risk of mud slides. We worked along side fire crews to try and mitigate the damage: picnic tables, debris and rocks were washed down through the grounds, blocking the flow of water through the stream bed. The parking lot and workshop are a foot deep in mud and waterlogged ash as the rain fell and washed all the burned top soil down the valley.
Channels have been dug, earth, rocks and sandbags piled: we hope to avoid structural damage to the buildings as the rains come down. At the moment, all we can do is damage limitation. Tomorrow we will go in and assess the extent of the damage once the immediate threat of flash floods has passed. Riverside County Fire Department has placed an Evacuation Warning for residents of Apple Canyon Road, north of Bonita Vista Road, which we will observe until it is safe to return tomorrow.
Walking up to the well site today, we found out that the wells have been destroyed as have the water lines feeding into the water tanks. Electrical and gas lines have been torn and melted at other points around the Center.
While the buildings still stand, there is devastation all through the grounds.
Over the next week, starting tomorrow, we will be meeting with the assigned insurance adjuster and professionals from the Forest Service, CalFire and some local soil engineers. The State of California is likely to declare the canyon an official disaster area in the next few days.
We have a massive amount of work ahead of us. The only way Yokoji can be rebuilt is with your help. Please donate what you can to help rebuild the center. Please pass this plea on to anyone you know that may be willing to help.
We will also need volunteers to help out over the coming days and weeks. Please contact the office via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to let us know your availability so we can begin to organize teams to help out with the work. Please email rather than just show up so we can make the best use of everyone's efforts. Please include a phone number at which we can reach you.
Picnic tables washed down by flash floods
Workshop a foot deep in mud and debris
Mud and debris by the workshop
The memorial site
Solar panels at risk from flash floods