December 13, 2014: For the latest road conditions in the Big Sur area, check the Caltrans and CHP websites.
The latest Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade News! Read it here in the: November 2014 Round Up Report
November 19, 2014: Effective November 17, 2014, the backyard burning ban by CAL Fire has been lifted. Residential “backyard” burning can begin on December 1, 2014. Burn permits are now being processed and will be issued effective December 1, 2014. All persons wishing to burn during the 2014 – 2015 burn season must obtain a new permit. Permits issued during the two previous years are not valid for the 2014-2015 burn season.
October 27, 2014: We are extremely proud to announce that our new 3,500 gallon water tender has arrived and is ready to serve the community. This new firefighting water tender replaces a previous 1978 model that had originally been a dump truck. Although that tender served us well, it was time for a replacement. Our water tender was purchased through fund raising activities, including the quilt raffle earlier in the year and proceeds from the Big Sur Marathon, and generous donations from the community. Special thanks and appreciation goes out to two very generous donations from two local Big Sur property owners. This vital firefighting mobile water supply would not be possible without your generosity. The Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade wishes to thank all those who donated to the efforts in obtaining this critical piece of firefighting equipment for the Big Sur community.
Read about the Big Sur Fire of 1906 from the Spring 2004 edition of the Double Cone Quarterly
National Fire Prevention Week was October 5 – 11, 2014. First recognized in 1922 by then President Warren Harding, the theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Week is “Working Smoke Detectors Save Lives – Test Yours Monthly.” According to the National Fire Protection Association, ” Smoke alarms save lives. If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out. Having a working smoke alarm cuts the chances of dying in a reported fire in half. Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.” For more information on smoke alarms and fire prevention practices, check out the websites of the National Fire Protection Association or the United States Fire Fire Administration. And, don’t forget to change the batteries in your smoke alarms when we change our clocks back from Daylight Savings Time, this year on November 2, 2014.
November 3, 2014: A huge thank you to everyone who braved the wet weather, and avoided the lurking Santa Lucia “Watchers,” that attended the annual Halloween Bal Masque at Nepenthe Restaurant on October 31, 2014. As always, everyone had a great time and “spirits” were high, even with the constant rain. Special thanks to Nepenthe Restaurant for hosting the annual event and their continued support of the Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade. With everyone’s combined efforts, about $9,000 was raised for the Brigade.
January 23, 2014: On January 16, 2014, the Monterey County Fire Chiefs Association held their annual awards luncheon in Castroville, CA. We our extremely pleased to announce that our own Fire Chief, Martha Karstens was the recipient of the 2013 Volunteer Firefighter of the Year Award. Chief Karstens was acknowledged for her tremendous dedication to the fire service in Monterey County by serving on several regional fire service committees and continually supporting the efforts to improve the delivery of fire protection to the residents of Big Sur and the entire Monterey County. Chief Karstens is well deserving of this award and we are extremely proud of her dedication and commitment to the Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade and the Big Sur Community.
If you wish to make a donation to the persons and families who lost homes during the Pfiffer Fire, you can do so by clicking the link below. The fund is established by the Coast Property Owners Association of Big Sur, a 501(c)(3) organization. If you wish to make a donation directly to the Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade, also a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization, you can do so by clicking on the “Donate” tab above.
November 23, 2013: We understand completely how it can seem overwhelming with all the requests for donations from the many worthy organizations out there, especially during the approaching holiday season. Well, the reality is that many non-profit organizations simply would not exist if it were not for the generous donations from people like yourselves. Indeed, we are one of those organizations. Since we receive no government funding, our existence, and our ability to serve the Big Sur community 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a years, comes primarily from very much appreciated private donations. We are here to serve the Big Sur Community to the best of our ability and we need your help to do just that. Please consider a donation in any amount to help us maintain a vital service to the Big Sur community and our visitors. Please click on the “DONATE” tab at the top of this page for ways to support the Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade. Click below to view our annual donation request letter from Fire Chief, Martha Karstens and thanks for your past and continued support of the Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade.
November 3, 2014: A very special thanks to all the participants and volunteers that helped make the 34rd annual Big Sur River Run a huge success. With your outstanding efforts, we raised nearly $15,000 for the Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade and the Big Sur Health Center. Well done everyone! A popular souvenir from the River Runs is the official Race Tee Shirt. Check out the photo on the right for a collection of all 34 race shirts! Join us for the 35th annual Big Sur River Run on Saturday October 24, 2015 at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
The Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade was formed in 1974 to provide structure fire protection for the residents and businesses in the Big Sur area. Our response area covers 60 miles of coastline, along Highway One, from Hurricane Point on the north end to the Monterey/San Luis Obispo County line on the south. We were then, and still are, an all-volunteer Fire Brigade, currently with about 40 members. Our organization now provides both structure and wildland fire protection to the Big Sur community. Additionally, we respond to medical aid incidents, vehicle accidents, high angle rescues, coastal and hazardous materials incidents, and we provide management and mutual aid for major incidents such as large wildfires and emergency road closures which can isolate the entire community.
How We Are Funded:
We are funded almost entirely by grants and donations from fundraising activities such as our Big Sur River Run, our annual BBQ and Firefighter’s Muster, the Big Sur Marathon, and the Nepenthe Halloween Bal Masque. We also send out a fundraising letter each year requesting support from our local residents. We welcome any and all donations as we are continually trying to upgrade our equipment and emergency response capabilities.
Contributions such as cash, appreciated stock, in-kind professional services, and used vehicles and equipment have in the past helped us build our capabilities for emergency response. If you would like to contact us about making a donation, our address is:
P.O. Box 520
Big Sur, CA. 93920
As a non-profit, Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) organization, tax-exempt number 94-2840361, and registered to solicit donations in the state of California, your donation will be gladly accepted. To make a tax deductible donation to the Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade by credit card or using Pay Pal, click on the “Donate” tab above.
Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade’s Opposition to the State Responsibility Area (SRA) Fire Prevention Fee on Local Parcels:
Information about wildland fire, wildland urban interface, vegetation clearances, and creating a defensible space around residences and buildings:
Two local business where you can purchase Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade clothing and apparel:
A comprehensive article by Gary Koeppel on the founding of the Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade:
An article about a recent vegetation fire near Gorda earlier this year featuring one of our own, Jon Knight, on the USDA Blog:
Register your home or cell phone with “ALERT Monterey County” to receive vital messages during emergency situations:
Information and news from the Coast Property Owners Association (CPOA):
Members of the Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade conducting live-fire training with the Northtree Live-Fire Trailer in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park on May 10, 2014:
Members of the Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade conducting auto extrication training at the firehouse on September 14, 2013:
Close call on Stony Ridge Road on September 6, 2013 where a downed power line ignited a vegetation fire. Quick work by the BSVFB, the US Forest Service, and CAL FIRE kept the fire in check and had complete extinguishment in a short period of time. Thanks to resident Sue Lecraw for the great action photos.
Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade members participating in wildland firefighting training on June 19 and 21, 2013 at Fort Hunter Liggett. Check out the Photo Gallery for more pictures of our firefighters in action!
Highlights from our Fund Raising Firefighters Muster and Barbeque held on June 8, 2013 at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. Thanks to all that attended, thanks to everyone who helped out, and thanks to the fire service agencies that participated in the firefighters muster. Mark your calendars now, and join us next year for our 40th year anniversary celebration on June 14, 2014 at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park!
Big Sur Volunteer Firefighters in Action:
Big Sur Volunteer Firefighters assisting CALSTAR air ambulance at the Post Ranch landing zone for a patient with a severely injured hand about to be flown to a trauma center in the Bay Area on the morning of May 28, 2013:
The Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade operating at a vegetation fire near the Old Coast Road on Monday September 17, 2012. Engines from the USFS and CAL FIRE also responded to the incident. The photos were taken by Fire Chief Martha Karstens.
CHP Helicopter H-70 landing at the Post Ranch during a mission for an injured hiker in the Los Padres National Forest on September 15, 2012: