A group of monks prepared to defend their Buddhist monastery from a wildfire burning in the central coast mountains near Big Sur in California, The Guardian reported Wednesday.
Seven monks at the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center cleared brush and ran a sprinkler system called “Dharma rain” to moisturize around the buildings, according to The Guardian. (RELATED: Wildfires Spread Through California And Arizona As Drought Continues)
A wildfire is within a half-mile of Tassajara, a Buddhist monastery near Big Sur started by Shunryu Suzuki, best known for his popular book “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind.” A band of “fire monks” is ready to defend it. https://t.co/8DraddEWbC
— Patrick LaForge (@palafo) June 24, 2021
“The blaze is about a mile away but we’ve been lucky with the weather, it has really cooled down,” Sozan Miglioli, monastery operator and president of San Francisco Zen Center, reportedly said.
The Willow fire burned more than 2,800 acres by Tuesday, according to The Guardian. Due to its location in a steep, remote area, more than 500 firefighters fought the blaze.
The firefighting monks created their group in 2008 after a blaze reached their Buddhist center, The Guardian reported. Their name comes from a book called “Fire Monks” about those who stayed to put out a fire, Miglioli told The Guardian. These particular monks reportedly train with professional firefighters every year and reside in three separate monasteries.