Viewing High Park Fire
Executive Director at Shambhala Mountain Center
Photos by John Perkins
Today I would like to focus on the fire itself and additional efforts being made to protect the Stupa and the storage of treasures inside.
THE FIRE: The conditions continue to be very difficult for fire fighters and are considered “Red Flag”. There is little fire activity in the morning but as the day progresses and the temperature and winds rise, the fire activity and smoke increases in the afternoon and into the evening. An additional 5,000-6,000 acres burned in the last day bringing the total to 81,190 acres. There are two primary efforts happening simultaneously: one to contain further damage to homes in Glacier View (the fire had crossed Eiger Rd up to Mt. Blanc) and one focused on the west and south west. The Southeast is the area where the fire is closest to us.
A report from our Rusung, Zane Edwards:
This week, a group came up to help out for a day with weed-whacking and putting sacred objects (such as a life-size dakini sculpture and thousand’s of tsa-tsas) from the Stupa support building inside the Stupa. We also had a wonderful gift from the Shambhala Legacy project, who sent John Perkins, an expert in disaster preparation for museums, to help protect the Stupa.
We’ve been paying close attention to the fire of course. Yesterday, I went up on the ridge overlooking the Poudre Canyon and saw where the fire-line has been created along Pingree Park Road across the other side of a large mountain as well as the Poudre River, and the forest land behind SMC. Lots of changes happen, but for the most part, there are not going to be any surprises in its approach.
Click here to watch a recent video: SMC Fire update
Stupa: Condensed report from John Perkins:
The stupa is the best defendable building on the land because of its solid concrete construction and location. Since it contains precious artwork and objects, the first priority is to do all we can to maximize protection. The Stupa’s massive solid concrete walls offer excellent protection but the windows are vulnerable to the intense radiant heat of a forest fire.The first priority is to place metal screens in front of the glass starting with the most vulnerable window in front of the mahakala. Yesterday we erected a scaffold to which we will attach sheet steel in front of the window. The advice from forest fire experts was to shield the glass from radiant heat leaving an air space behind to vent the heat. You can see the structure and the first layers of steel in the second photo here. Next we will turn our attention to protecting other windows.
Then we will do another survey on what else to move into the Stupa. We will also take down the Vajradhara thangka over the entry door. Once we have everything inside we will then seal all the fire doors with metal tape and block off the stairwell to the upper floors to prevent a possible chimney effect should we have a breach.
The staff of SMC have been marvelous. It is inspiring to see the dedication, expertise and level of preparedness and continuing cheerfulness after such a long time of stressful and uncertain conditions under which they work.”
Update continued from Jon Barbieri:
Last night I hosted a dinner for the 16 staff on the land – linguine and clams in a red sauce with sausage. A little white and red wine and some delicious cakes made by Isabel in the kitchen. We dressed up and had a delightful time together. Your continual messages of care and your sense of being present with us are indeed like cool rain which nourishes us.
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