Northern California is experiencing a number of fires which are affecting many people. The nearest fire to Abhayagiri is called the August Complex fire which started in mid-August and burned 875,000 acres. While it has been providing Abhayagiri with a great deal of smoke, as of yet it has not posed any imminent evacuation threat. Nevertheless, many communities in the vicinity have been affected. The fire is currently burning approximately 20 miles away. It is currently 25% contained and is being attended to by many countless dedicated firefighters.
Also, last week, a smaller Oak fire started north of Willits, approximately 20 miles northeast of Abhayagiri, but is currently 85% contained and seems well under control.
Aside from the daily influx of smoke, however, life at Abhayagiri remains much the same. Normal vinaya (monastic rules) classes and personal retreats during the summer months continue as normal. In addition a number of long-term guests are staying at the monastery, participating in daily life, and helping to keep the monastery going. Various outdoor work projects continue albeit with masks to protect people from the smoke.
The community is making evacuation plans so that Abhayagiri is prepared, should the fires approach more closely to the monastery. Abhayagiri has been in communication with the local fire department to protect the safety of the residents and the monastery.
Updated as of 9/13/2020