MIRA Caretaker Charged with Battery & Interfering with a Firefighter during Basin Complex Fire

The Carmel Pine Cone is reporting that MIRA caretaker, Ivan Eberle (no fan of Xasauan Today), has been criminally charged with battery on a firefighter in the line of duty and interfering with a firefighter in the line of duty. Eberle tells the Pine Cone that the charges are baseless and may be retaliation (or meant to discredit him) for his efforts to publicize the fact that firefighting efforts on Chews Ridge weren’t going as well as the Forest Service was claiming; or for complaining about firefighters failing to come to his aid.

Police harassment of residents who exercised their right to stay and defend their homes was a very serious problem during the Basin Complex Fire so, while we doubt that Forest Service retaliation had anything to do with it, it wouldn’t surprise us at all if the charges were extremely weak or false. Interference with, let alone battery on, firefighters engaged in their work is a very serious matter and we’d like to believe that Ivan, however ill-tempered and conspiracy minded he may be in his comments on this site, would not, in real life, do anything that stupid.

If Ivan’s experience was typical he was probably left to fight the fire around his home unaided by the Forest Service or any other firefighting agency. As far as we’re concerned, the question of why structure protection was not provided for the Zen Mountain Center and so many, many homes is a lot more interesting than the details of what went on outside the MIRA Observatory in the heat of the moment. But don’t hold your breath waiting for anyone to be held accountable for that.

April 17, 2009 Update: All Charges Dropped

8 Responses to MIRA Caretaker Charged with Battery & Interfering with a Firefighter during Basin Complex Fire

  1. If you think I’ve been a PITA here, ask around Cachagua and Jamesburg about how a few of us ultimately shamed the IMT into honoring firefighting commitments made to my neighbors Day 2, then reneged upon Day 4).

    I was asked to stay by several IC members because I was helpful to the firefighting effort. Resultingly I made many friends and close acquaintances who were guarding my back against any political repercussions. Some of these same folks have my back once more and stand ready to help out. That system was working pretty well and only really broke down in the moments of the backfire’s breakout, which I happened to document, and which just a couple of people were trying to cover their ass by taking me out of the picture.

    While we may not agree on any number of things what you and I DO share is an abiding greater interest in what happens to my neighbors than this relatively insignificant and easily-disposed-of legal matter.

    Much more important is the “other shoe not yet dropped”– flooding and debris flows expected to happen during heavy downpours this winter. As a matter of fact, were the snow on the ground here right now all to wash out with a single big rainstorm (I’m thinking of a January storm that did this on top of several feet of snowpack), it’s Katy Bar the Door for folks downstream…

    Agreed. And the forecast for next week doesn’t look too promising …. XT

  2. bigsurkate says:

    XT, thanks for posting this, and Mr. Eberle for responding. I saw the PIne Cone article, and wondered why this had not been covered at the time it occurred, rather than now, 5 months later. I will certainly be keeping my eye on this “insignificant” and “easily-disposed-of legal matter.” I hope you are right, Mr. Eberle, about that.

  3. Kate, the timing of the filing is more than a little strange.

    With fire burning on both sides of Tassajara Road and a hard closure, six deputies were sent up and knocked on my door at 9 PM Sunday July 13. After listening to my side of the story while I pointed to the charred skeletons of the trees (the crowning ones I’d doused as the contracted hotshots stood around watching and offered no help with, the morning prior), they certainly didn’t find enough to the accusations to charge me with any crime then. I was told later that week by yet another Sheriff’s Deputy that the matter had been dropped and their concerns been satisfied by my having evacuated my home.

    The later filing in September correlates to the same week a public MIRA lecture where I was presented an award for my actions, and where a slide show including images I’d taken relating to the events of July 12 was shown publicly for the first time. Some of these images also appeared in the MIRA Newsletter that same week.

    Sure would’ve been nice to have heard about the charges then, in September. Yet my first indication that the matter was still pending was a Failure to Appear notice and warrant– in December! This even though I was never cited, and never properly notified to appear in the first place.

  4. Hmmmm … this is too RICH! I heard a lot about the Tassajara salvation efforts by a few, last July, when in Big Sur, and this thread astounds me. As a newbie to XT, I will be tracking it. As an oldie to Tassahara, years ago, and driving down past MIRA [I grew up at Yerkes Observatory in Wisconsin, worked there, etc.] many times, I will be making a return to that area in coming years. AND, now I get to also track the outcome of this sad tale and thank you XT. Good luck Mr. Eberle! And NOW … the Winter Storms … let us pray a lot and do whatever we can!

    Kindest regards,

    Sapan Rinpoche
    Lyons, Colorado

  5. MurrayRothbard says:

    If you ever stand up to the fire or paramedics you will unleash hell. They lie and make up any story required to save face.

    Same story different day.

    Fact is the protective services are mostly union and have no competition. This is a recipe for tyranny.

  6. JohnRusso says:

    For folks out in the Tassajara/Cachagua area, there will be emergency preparedness training held on January 24th, and 31st at the Tularcitos Fire Station on Cachagua Road. Training starts at 9am.

    More info can be found at: http://www.cachagua.net

    All are welcome, and folks that complete the training will have the opportunity to join a Community Emergency Response Team (this is optional) to help their neighbors if those floods do come, or in future fire emergencies.

    Or just come to help prepare yourself and your family. I spoke to one of the trainers last night and he said common feedback from folks after the training is surprise at how much there is to know, and how much you don’t know when it comes to protecting your life and property in a major disaster.

    If you live in Cachagua, please come take advantage of the experience of these trainers, most seasoned fire fighting professionals.

  7. As soon as we asked for the ICS 214 reports, the DA folded his hand and dropped all charges. (April 15th)

    Good outcome …. except that you probably had to spend a fair amount of cash to defend yourself. – XT

  8. Keith,
    You seem to have an intriguing routine for search engine optimization. Please share your secrets (or I will be doing so–and soon).

    While we’ve heard of “search engine optimization,” we don’t actually know how to do it, have never tried to do it, and certainly don’t have a routine, intriguing or otherwise, for doing it. We look forward to finding out what our search engine secrets are … please reveal them soon – XT

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