12-25-2017 Daily Update Thomas Fire
Incident: Thomas Fire Wildfire
December 25, 2017 7:00AM
Start Date: December 4, 2017 Cause: Under Investigation Size: 281,620 acres
Containment: 86% Personnel: 1,586 Structures Destroyed: 1,063 Structures Damaged: 280
Current Situation: Today, the fire map was adjusted to show approximately a half-mile of additional containment line along Cherry Creek Road. On Monday, December 18, crews initiated a firing operation north of the main fire and west of Cherry Creek Road. Fire that resulted from this earlier firing operation has been slowly advancing southward toward the main fire, as intended. The additional containment line closed the loop, creating an interior pocket of burned and unburned vegetation. The increase in acreage was expected and was an intended outcome of the firing operation and is within established containment lines. It should be noted that there have been no additional firing operations conducted since those that took place on December 18. Smoke observed since than has been a result of creeping fire and flare-ups in unburned areas within the containment lines.
Hotspots remain in the Bear Heaven area. Air support with water drops is being used due to steep, rugged terrain with limited access.
The fire line from Ventura to Santa Barbara is contained and secure. Even though fuels in the fire area remain critically dry, with shorter days and lack of significant winds no forward progress of the fire is expected. Firefighters are building upon previous gains by strengthening established containment lines adjacent to communities and other infrastructure. Mop up operations along the fire perimeter and active patrol are ongoing. Repair work is underway to mitigate impacts from fire suppression activity. Firefighting crews and aircraft remain available in the event there are flare-ups or new fire starts in the area.
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 if a threat to humans is perceived call 911 (https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/living-with-wildlife).
Fire Weather: Wind: 10 mph off shore. Temp: Highs in the 60s to low 70s. Humidity: 5-15%.
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.
Air Quality: Smoke may be visible at times due to interior hotspots that come to life as dry weather conditions persist. Smoke and ashfall from these flare-ups may occur in some areas, such as Rose Valley and Ojai. Because of the Thomas incident, approximately 30 oil seep fires have been ignited in the Upper Ojai area and continue to burn. In addition to smoke and ash from the Thomas Fire these oil seep fires contribute to air quality issues in the area. A foam product has been ordered that may help extinguish the oil seep fires and will be applied immediately upon delivery. Once the product is applied area residents may see an increase in smoke and firefighting resources. Results of the application of this product will be known in the next few days. An updated air quality report may be found at http://www.ourair.org or http://www.vcapcd.org