Firefighting Monks Prepare To Defend Their Monastery From Wildfires

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Melanie Wilcox Contributor
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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)

“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.

The Willow fire is one of several blazing the west, and despite this, the monks still meditate every morning and hold service, Miglioli told the outlet.