Alisal Fire threatens Rancho del Cielo
Five employees of the Reagan Ranch have remained at President Ronald Reagan’s “Ranch in the Heavens” (Rancho del Cielo) during the Alisal Fire.
The ranch is located in an evacuation-order zone and approximately a mile from the fire.
“We’re not going to risk life, but anything short of that, we’ll do to protect the ranch,” Andrew Coffin, director of the Reagan Ranch and vice president at the Young America’s Foundation, told the News-Press.
Los Padres National Forest Fire Chief Jim Harris said the ranch is getting the same treatment as its neighbors.
“The fire started pretty much adjacent to the Reagan Ranch. And so anything in the way of or adjacent to the fire is considered a value at risk, and we put protection measures in place,” he said. “I wouldn’t say it’s any more significant than the ranch in Refugio Canyon that somebody owns.”
Mr. Coffin said firefighters opened “some very wide fire breaks” on the ranch property and neighboring properties.
The Young America’s Foundation, which runs the ranch, has invested in a system of protection for the ranch. There are wells, sprinklers, hoses and fire hydrants.
If the team of five must leave, they will activate the sprinklers and evacuate.
Mr. Coffin said firefighters are aware of their presence on site, and he has been offering assistance. A helicopter filled up from Freedom Lake, one of two lakes on the property, to make a water drop Tuesday.
“We’re careful, we want to make sure we have enough water resources to keep our own fire abatement systems effective,” he said.
He watched the blaze grow closer Wednesday.
“We’re committed to staying up here as long as we can, as long as that’s wise,” Mr. Coffin said.