From Our Friends Caught In the Big Sur Fire…Sam Varela Reports

To You~
Who’s love has come our way at this difficult time. It’s the greatest form of support you can offer, because it’s real.

Well at this point there are many stories and rumors about what has happened here in the Tassajara Area/ Big Sur mountain range, to the best of our knowledge at least 190,000 acres have burned and it’s still moving. Just 2 days ago it broke over a hold line and headed in our direction. It’s now less than 1 mile away. Big Sur is about 8 miles away as the crow flies and is all burned out between us. It is actually the result of 2 fires, the Indians fire (70,000 acres) and the Basin Complex fire (so far 120,000+) acres, they fortunately joined and consumed all the fuel in that area so extinguished the interior but the perimeters are still very active.

We are eternally grateful to the many brave fire fighters here from everywhere (SAMOA even) they are truly a unique breed. Today two huge Base Camps have been combined and are stationed about 3 miles away, about 2000 troops and loads of equipment including 17 Helicopters. They have established a Fire Break line that runs between our home and the fire, we have been told that if it’s possible to contain it they are the best there exist in that effort, if not, then the entire Carmel Valley is being threatened.

There are huge areas under orders to evacuate, and about 75% have refused and are staying on their property, What’s the point here ? A lady we know was halted at the blockade by the CHP; she explained her daughter was home alone and had to be evacuated, she was told she was not allowed back. She said “NOT ALLOWED, MY ASS!” and drove thru the blockade. CHP ended up chasing her up the mountain, but this ALLOWED everyone else to power thru and scatter like a bunch of ground squirrels and are still hiding out. All the authorities are just doing their job the best they can and are to be appreciated.

Suzanne has been awesome in her efforts to help in the evacuation of our important things, deal with Jocelyn and I, and still run her business in the midst of all the confusion. I pray her patience will hold out, for all of us concerned.

It’s a day by day situation, and not a pleasure to pass on dire information, but hopefully the next e- will surely bring good news on a bad situation. So please know that your prayers are reaching and supporting us and with that we will be OK when it’s all over. God Bless You all for being THERE.
Til Then,
and Jocelyn Varela

*Sam Varela was a former owner of the Moss Beach Distillery.