Our post last week on the fire at Zen Mountain Center was too optimistic. Although the buildings in Zen Mountain Centre survived, the events since sound calamitous. Further fires and heavy rains have melted or washed away power, gas and water supplies and covered much of the site under a foot of mud and ash, destroying many facilities. Further landslides are threatened and the area is likely to be officially declared a disaster area. An international appeal is being launched and Keizan Sensei will have more to say on how we might help next week. In the meantime if you wish to read more and see some shocking photos, see the Yokoji blog http://zmc.org/blog/2013/07/mountain-fire-at-zen-center-update
Here’s what Jim Yugen Lakey has written:
The mountain fire has destroyed the majority of Apple Canyon. The structures at Yokoji escaped destruction thanks to the amazing work of the fire crews and the preventative measures taken by Yokoji prior to the fire; namely forestry thinning and brush clearing to create defensible space around the center.
The fire and the flash floods that followed have caused massive damage to the grounds and infrastructure of Yokoji. The wells have been destroyed as have the water lines feeding into the water tanks. Electrical and gas lines have been torn and melted.
While the buildings still stand, there is carnage all through the grounds.
Over the next week 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 to help rebuild the center. Please pass this plea on to anyone you know that may be willing to help.