By Margaret Magnus
Every year since Meher Mount’s founding in 1946, volunteers are tasked with making sure that all flammable vegetation within 100 feet of any structure is removed.
This fire-hazard clearance helps to protect Meher Mount and the environment from the threat of wildfires and hopefully avoid a repeat of the 1985 fire.
FIRE DESTROYED MEHER MOUNT IN 1985
On October 14, 1985, a fire swept through Meher Mount destroying everything, even severely burning Baba’s Tree.
At Meher Mount, we call this the “New Life Fire” as it was within days of the anniversary of the start of Meher Baba’s New Life on October 16, 1949.
SEVERE CALIFORNIA DROUGHT
Currently, Southern California is in the midst of a four-year drought leaving Meher Mount very dry and highly susceptible to year-round wildfires.
The Manager/Caretakers work all year to keep the grasses cut and the underbrush near buildings trimmed.
WIDENING THE PRASAD ORCHARD TRAIL
In May 2015, there was an extra effort to make the meadow – the Prasad Orchard – below Avatar’s Point more accessible to mowing equipment.
Meher Mount worked with the C.R.E.W. (Concerned Resource and Environmental Workers), an environmentally oriented, non-profit youth leadership and employment organization.
The C.R.E.W. provides job training, community service and paid employment opportunities to local youth aged 14 to 26, while providing resources needed to preserve and maintain public and private wild lands, such as Meher Mount.
This group cleared brush and trimmed the Prasad Orchard Trail. Meher Mount then hired a neighbor to widen and grade the Prasad Orchard Trail to accommodate Meher Mount’s tractor for ongoing mowing.
The C.R.E.W. also removed and trimmed brush along the fence between Meher Mount and our neighbors to the west.
On June 6, 2015, there was a Trim-the-Trail Day in which volunteers cut back limbs and removed brush along the Well Road in order for the Southern California Edison meter reader and Ventura County well reader to pass easily.
IMPROVED WALKING TRAILS
As a bonus, the brush removal along the Well Road and the widening and clearing of the Prasad Orchard Trail help make these walks even more enjoyable for visitors.