#ThomasFire is a Firestorm | 5 | AM Update



Fire seen burning all over the area as a firestorm. (Credit: CALFIRE)


Start Date/Time. The Thomas Fire started on December 4, 2017 at around 1835 hours PST.

Location. Started in the upper Ojai area near Thomas Aquinas College in the city of Santa Paul in Ventura County. 

Size. Due to the Santa Ana winds in the area, the fire would consume 500 acres immediately but become the firestorm that it is today. 

Fire Behavior. The fire continues to burn at a high rate and is rapidly spreading.  Fire behavior is extreme rates of spread and long-range spotting when it is pushed by the winds.   

Cause. The cause is unknown and under investigation.

Resources and Equipment  

Fire Command. Unified Command consists of CAL FIRE, VCFD, City of Ventura, Los Padres NF, VCSO.  IMT:  CAL FIRE IMT 4.

Fire Personnel. 2,509.  

Ventura County hand crews conducted multiple fire operations throughout the night of December 6, 2017. This helps reduce fire fuels, helps direct and slow the fire. (Credit: VCFD_PIO)

Equipment. 471 fire engines, 28 fire crews, 12 helicopters, 28 bulldozers, 7 water tenders,7 available air tankers including DC10, 26 bulldozers.  

E343 in the hills above Ojai on 12/7/2017. (Credit: Sacramento FD)

Incident Cooperators  

OCFA engines respond to the Rye and Thomas fires as of 12/7/2017. (Credit: OCFA PIO)

CAL FIRE, VCFD, VCSO, City of Ventura FD, City of Ventura PD, USFS/Los Padres NF, CAL OES, Red Cross, PG&E, CHP, VC Public Works, CALTRANS, CA DOC & Rehab, Palo Alto FD (E65 24-hour shift deployed 12/7) and OCFA has 2 strike teams with total of 10 engines (as of 12/7/2017).

Palo Alto FD sent E65 on 12/7/2017 to work a 24-hour shift. (Credit: Palo Alto FD)


Current Fire Status

Fire Behavior.  Fire behavior is extreme and continues to be active with long-range spotting when pushed by the Santa Ana winds.  Very relative humidity is also being reported. 

Established. The fire is established on the north and east sides of Hwy 150, west side of Hwy 33 and along 101 freeway to Santa Barbara County line and west of City of Fillmore.

Fire Tactics. Firefighters continue to work aggressively protecting all life and property while working on control lines around the fire perimeter.

Current Size. 132,000 acres. 10% containment. 


Santa Barbara County. http://countyofsb.org/thomasfire.sbc#update

Evacuation Map. https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1CePU2TdEh86nmBDBfPOAXf8Hp7NlpVpA&ll=34.28932874392301%2C-119.08218395708002&z=10  and http://www.readyventuracounty.org/


Nordhoff HS, 1401 Maricopa Hwy, Ojai, CA. (City of Ojai). 

Oxnard College Gym, 4000 s Rose Ave, Oxnard, CA. (City of Oxnard). 

Santa Paula Community Center, 530 W Main St, Santa Paula, CA. (City of Santa Paula). 

Santa Barbara Multi Activity Center, 516 Ocean Road, Santa Barbara. (UC Santa Barbara). Animal Shelter for small animals, preferably in crates. 

Animal Evacuations. Assistance to help with animal evacuations.  866-387-8911.   

Animal Evacuation Shelter. Ventura County Fairgrounds.  10 W Harbor Blvd, Ventura, CA. (Large animals)

Damage Assessments

73 homes, 3 commercial and 15 outbuildings destroyed.  14 homes and 1 outbuildings damaged. UPDATE | 439 structures destroyed with 85 additionally damaged (as of 12/7/2017 @ 1820 hours)

Current Threats

15,000 structures threatened. 


New Mandatory Evacuations. Hwy 192 on the south, Hwy 150 on the east (county line), Santa Monica Rd to the west and extending north to East Camino Cielo, Hwy 150 from Rincon Hill Rd South to the 101 and included Bates Rd and Rincon Point at the south end of Bates. (as of 12/7/2017 @ 2019 hours)

City of Fillmore. The City of Fillmore IS NOT currently under any evacuation orders. Unincorporated parts of Ventura County near the Fillmore city limits are under evacuation.

Curfew in Effect. City of Ventura PD declared curfew in response to the fire.  Effective December 5, 2017 starting at 2200 hours through 0500 daily.

Water Boil Order. Upper Ojai Valley, Casitas Springs Foster Park and parts of City of Ventura due to loss of pressure and water supply from the fire-related power outages.  All tap water used for drinking and cooking should be boiled to a rolling boil for approx one minute.  Issued by the Casitas Municipal Water District. Details can be viewed at the City of Ventura’s website : http://www.cityofventura.ca.gov/

School Closures.  List on the Ventura County Office of Education.  http://www.vcoe.org/ 

College Closures. http://www.oxnardcollege.edu/news/thomas-wildfire-updates-as-of-127-400pm

 Transportation.  Train tracks closed from Carpenteria to Faria Beach.  No AMTRAK services in Ventura County.

Local Emergencies Proclamations. Local emergency proclamations issued by the Cities of Santa Paula, Ojail and Ventura.


How to Prep Your House for a Wildfire.  https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1409003859391-0e8ad1ed42c129f11fbc23d008d1ee85/how_to_prepare_wildfire_033014_508.pdf FEMA guide. See pages 11, 12.  (FEMA)

Fire Survivor Resources

Tax Relief. County Assessor working on tax relief for fire survivors.  http://www.vcnewschannel.com/news/235-county-working-on-plans-for-property-tax-relief-for-fire-victims

Mobile Medical Unit:  Located at the Ventura County Fairgrounds.  Providing care for those in need.

Counseling, Crisis Intervention:  Disaster Response teams from the Ventura County Behavioral Health Department will be available at shelters to assist with services to those individuals and/or families displaced and traumatized by the fire. They are also assisting with community referrals.  You can reach them 24/7 through a toll-free hotline at 866-998-2243.


Always verify whom you are donating too to avoid potential scammers out there who are trying to take advantage during this tragedy.  http://www.nixle.us/9R3RR (Charity scams tips)

UWVC:  Text 41444.  100% of donations go to those impacted by the fire will benefit all fire survivors.

United Way. Donations can be made on United Way of Ventura County’s website or over the phone at 805-485-6288. Checks with “Thomas Fire Fund” in the memo line can be mailed to 702 County Square Drive, Suite 100 Ventura, CA 93003.  vcunitedway.org

Target Stores.  Target stores in the area remain open to serve the Ventura County community. We’ve stocked up on emergency supplies to support evacuees and gave donations to the community.

Salvation Army. salvationarmy.org

American Red Cross. redcross.org

(c) 2017 The CA Fire Report – 12/8/2017 @ 0650 hours PST




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