Los Padres National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
Goleta, CA 93117
December 23, 2017 8:00AM
Start Date: December 4, 2017 Cause: Under Investigation Size: 273,400 acres Containment: 65% Personnel: 2,512 Structures Destroyed: 1,063 Structures Damaged: 280 Current Situation: Yesterday at 6:00PM, Thomas Fire management responsibilities were transferred to California Interagency Incident Management Team 3 under leadership of Incident Commander Mark von Tillow. Most fire suppression activity is now on National Forest System lands. However, CAL FIRE will continue assisting with the overall fire suppression and recovery effort, as needed. The Thomas Fire is now 273,400 acres, making it the largest fire recorded in California’s modern history. The front country fire perimeter is secure. Firefighters are building upon previous gains by securing established containment lines adjacent to communities and other infrastructure. Mop up operations along the fire perimeter and active patrol are ongoing. Firefighters and aircraft remain available to address flare-ups or new starts in the area. Firefighters conducted strategic firing operations on the northern flank of the fire along Cherry Creek Road near Highway 33. This offensive tactic is being implemented to prevent the fire from spreading to the north by removing fuel ahead of the uncontained fire’s edge. Some heat remains in the Bear Heaven area. Air support with water drops is used due to steep, rugged terrain with limited access. Residents and visitors to Santa Barbara and Ventura counties may see an increase in wildlife in local communities due to displacement from the fire. Individuals who encounter these displaced animals are encouraged to maintain a safe distance, refrain from feeding them, and contact their local animal control office if a threat is perceived.
Fire Weather: Wind: 6-11 mph off-shore. Temp: Mid-50s to Low 60s. Humidity: Minimum 5-12%.
Evacuations: There are currently no mandatory evacuation orders in effect. Residents on Highway 33 between Rose Valley north to Hartman Ranch remain under a voluntary evacuation warning due to fire activity in the nearby areas. Smoke: An updated air quality report may be found at http://www.ourair.org or http://www.vcapcd.org