March 11, 2021
preserving, protecting, and defending the rural character
and natural resources of Carmel Valley since 1949

Carmel Valley Association
Weekly Bulletin
Stay Safe!
Registration for the Community Wildfire Webinar Series is Open!

The aim of this series (hosted by the Carmel Valley Wildfire Mitigation Project with Thriving Earth Exchange) is to provide science-backed and community-focused information on the local fire landscape, best-practices for wildfire preparedness, and resources available to residents of Carmel Valley and the surrounding communities. Each one-hour session will feature short presentations by wildfire experts followed by a Q&A session with the speakers.

Please join us live on Thursday, April 1 from 5:30-6:30pm PST for the first installment of this series, ”Living with wildfire by hardening your home,” by registering here. More details below!

Part I: Living with wildfire by hardening your home (register for Part I here, same link as above)
Thursday, April 1 5:30-6:30pm PST

Living with wildfire takes planning and preparation! This webinar addresses what you can do to make your home more resistant to wildfire.

Presentations by:

Mary Adams (Monterey County District 5 Supervisor)

Dr. Christina Restaino (Director of Living with Fire and Assistant Professor, University of Nevada Reno)
Staff Chief Steven Hawks (Staff Chief of Wildfire Planning and Engineering Division, CalFire)
Lucas Johnson (Senior Principal and Co-owner of Vali Homes)
Paola Berthoin (RisingLeaf Restoration Consulting)

Registration links for upcoming webinars in this series:

Part II: Creating effective defensible space (register for Part II here)
Wednesday, April 14 5:30-6:30pm PST

Part III: PG&E and wildfire safety (register for Part III here)
Thursday, April 29 5:30-6:30pm PST

Part IV: Moving towards a fire-resilient landscape (register for Part IV here)

Thursday, May 6 5:30-6:30pm PST (During Fire Awareness Week)
Part V: Emergency planning and preparing for evacuations (register for Part V here)
Thursday, May 13 5:30-6:30pm PST
September Ranch Barn Closes

Our sharp-eyed community has noticed that only a few horses remain stabled at September Ranch. In some ways sad to report, the recent departures are due to a convergence of events.

First, in December the County approved the start of the September Ranch housing project on the east ridge of the 891 acre property. Phase 1 includes development of lots for 33 of 73 authorized market rate homes, construction of up to 22 affordable housing units, conservation of large areas of open space, and dedication of a parking area and trail easement on the west side of September Ranch for public access to Jacks Peak Park.

Second, with construction scheduled to begin later this year, the Barn manager decided not to renew its lease with the property owner. Equestrian and construction activities are not a good mix, and the existing boarding facility will be closed by the end of March.

Most of the ranch’s land alongside Carmel Valley Road will stay as it now looks, as a protected view shed. In fact, about 20 acres at the ranch’s frontage is set aside in a parcel dedicated for equestrian use. When the dust clears, we hope to see horses returning to the ranch’s historic pastures.
The Home Ignition Zone
There exists a common misconception that most homes lost or damaged during wildfire are unavoidable, the result of catastrophic flames or wall of fire, referred to as a crown fire. Reality does not support this. Research around home destruction vs. home survival in wildfires point to embers and small flames as the main way the vast majority, 60-90%, of homes ignite in wildfires. Experiments, models, and post-fire studies have shown homes ignite due to the condition of the home, and everything around it, 100’-200’ from the foundation. This is called the Home Ignition Zone (HIZ).

EMBER ATTACKS (A/K/A FIREBRANDS): Burning pieces of airborne wood and/or vegetation that can be carried more than a mile through the wind can cause spot fires and ignite homes, debris and other objects. They can also penetrate and smolder in woodpiles, patio/deck items, vents and openings, roofs and debris filled gutters. Most home losses in a wildfire are from embers, not by direct contact with flames.
SURFACE FIRES: Small flames typically burning through grass and ground litter. They can reach houses or attachments if there is no interruption in the types of fuel sources. Flames touching a house, fence or deck can cause them to ignite.

CROWN FIRE: Large flames burning in the tops or canopies of trees. These large flames radiate heat that can ignite wood walls from up to 100’ away. Other types of large flames can come from detached buildings, burning wood piles and ignited vehicles.
By themselves, embers do not typically possess sufficient heat to ignite a structure directly, much like trying to light a log on fire with a match. For the fire to propagate and generate sufficient heat to ignite the logs, kindling is necessary. Removing the “kindling” adjacent to your home, in this case all combustible materials within 5’ of your home (7’ at the corners) is a huge, first step to improve your homes’ survivability from a wildfire. Jack Cohen’s concise, 13-minute video, “Your Home Can Survive a Wildfire” is an excellent primer on the topic.

WHEN YOUR HOME IGNITION ZONE EXTENDS INTO NEIGHBORING PROPERTIES: You may find that your home ignition zone overlaps into adjacent properties. To maximize the benefits of your work, it is extremely important to work collaboratively with neighbors to reduce the shared risk. It is this neighborhood partnership, residents reducing wildfire risks, that lies at the core of Firewise USA. The national Firewise USA® recognition program provides a collaborative framework to help neighbors get organized, find direction, and take action to increase the ignition resistance of their homes and community and to reduce wildfire risks at the local level.

The program simply recognizes that the sum of a communities’ protective efforts is simply greater than the parts, or individual homeowners’ efforts. To learn more about Firewise USA please visit or the Fire Safe Council For Monterey County (FSCMC)

FSCMC, Committee Chair Firewise USA  
Two Monterey County Advisory Groups Recommend Adoption of CVA Recommendations Concerning Affordable Housing at
Rancho Cañada Village

Meeting on consecutive evenings of February 16 and 17, the Carmel Valley Land Use Advisory Committee and the Monterey County Housing Advisory Committee both endorsed CVA's position that affordable housing in the Rancho Cañada Village meet the Carmel Valley Master Plan requirement of 35% affordable units, rather then the 20% the developer requested.

The project will go to the Planning Commission. You can read the developer's proposal and public comments at on the county's website:

From Carmel Valley Save Open Space:

Carmel Valley Save Open Space (CVSOS) is seeking a board member with fundraising experience. CVSOS has heard some willingness from the new owner to negotiate a purchase of one of three parcels. We have assembled the financial and volunteer support of hundreds of local residents, including pledges should such a purchase opportunity arise, and support for operational funding.

CVSOS also established itself as a non-profit 501(c)(3). We are positioned for a dedicated fundraiser to make the most of the good will we have accrued with our ongoing community building. If you are interested, please contact Cynthia Hall at or by phone at 831 659-4463.
Saturday, March 20 – Sunday, March 21, 2021 from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.

Events will occur primarily online. For more details, and a schedule of events, visit:

California Wildlife Day is celebrated every year on the spring equinox, in collaboration with other environmental organizations throughout the state of California.

You will have an opportunity to connect with wildlife experts, see live streams and recordings about wildlife, student exhibitions of art, poetry, and science projects during this online event.

Allow nature and wildlife to be your inspiration.

Illustration by Emily Underwood

For more information, visit: or email us at:

Cosponsored by Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District and Carmel River Watershed Conservancy.
Here's a web site to check to see
 if your area is scheduled for a power outage:

From the Big Sur Land Trust:

Stay healthy! Research continues to show that parks and open spaces provide health benefits beyond just physical exercise. Fresh air and organic compounds produced by trees may be a natural pharmacy that can help support our immune systems. Along with other important recommended precautions, none of us should forget our Vitamin N — Vitamin Nature!

If solo time in nature sounds right for you, visit our website and sign up for a self-guided hike on one of our spectacular conserved properties. In the meantime, to be cautious, we are suspending our guided hike program for the foreseeable future. We will let you know as soon as they are available again.

Be Well,

The Team at Big Sur Land Trust
Issues of Concern to Residents of Carmel Valley
Make sure you are signed up to receive emergency alerts!
Pris Walton, President
Carmel Valley Association
Curious About CVA?
Carmel Valley Association is one of the oldest, largest, and most successful community organizations in Monterey County. We are entirely volunteer, with no paid employees. Our mission is to defend the beauty, resources and rural character of our beautiful valley. We do that by working with residents, businesses, and government.
CVA was instrumental in the adoption of the Carmel Valley Master Plan and recently settled a lawsuit with Monterey County regarding traffic measurement and capping future development on very favorable terms for our valley. Our volunteer experts represent Carmel Valley's interest, testifying before governmental bodies concerning development, water, traffic, road signs, and other quality of life issues.

We keep valley residents informed about important issues and events with our weekly email Bulletin, which goes to over 1200 residents, and our quarterly Newsletter, which is mailed to over 7,000 valley addresses.

or reply to this email 

Header photo by
Carmel Valley Photographer 
Douglas Steakley