VENTURA, Calif. – The Thomas Fire remained out of control with no containment on the morning of Wednesday, December 6, 2017. More than 1,700 firefighters were battling the fire that had already consumed more than 65,000 acres – 101 square miles – and was still growing.
The fire started on Monday, December 4, at about 6:30 p.m. near Thomas Aquinas College. The college is just east of Highway 150 north of the city of Santa Paula. Driven by powerful Santa Ana winds, the fire moved quickly to the west.
It threatened Santa Paula and then began its march to the sea, reaching the city of Ventura in just a few hours. Along the way, the fire consumed thousands of acres of brush, and damaged structures, agricultural operations and infrastructure. But the true fury of the fire was felt in Ventura.
As of the morning of December 6, more than 150 homes and other structures had been destroyed in Ventura. Despite the heroic efforts of firefighters, law enforcement agencies and other first responders, home after home fell victim to the fire. The fire then jumped Highway 33 burning its way to Highway 101 where it threatened the community of Solimar. As separate arm of the fire moved up Highway 33 causing the evacuation of Casitas Springs and raising the possibility that the fire could burn all the way to Ojai.
Many of the areas that burned on Monday and Tuesday still had active fire and firefighting efforts continued there as well as along the front of the fire. An easing of the winds on Wednesday was expected to provide an opportunity for an aggressive air attack on the fire, although the winds were expected to return Wednesday afternoon.
There is no estimate for when the fire might be contained or controlled. Even so, the County has already begun making plans for recovery and debris removal. In addition, the County Auditor-Controller, Treasurer-Tax Collector and Assessor are developing a plan to immediately address the re-evaluation of property values.
For the most recent update on the fire, visit: www.ReadyVenturaCounty.org.
To sign up for emergency alerts, visit: http://www.readyventuracounty.org/vc-alert.
For information on preparing your home and family for wildfires, visit: http://vcfd.org/ready-set-go.