Los Padres National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
Goleta, CA 93117
Thomas Fire Update
Goleta, Calif., January 10th, 2018 — For Immediate Release.
Start Date: December 4, 2017 Cause: Under Investigation Size: 281,893 acres
Containment: 92% Personnel: 13 Structures Destroyed: 1,063 Structures Damaged: 280
Current Situation: With the skies clearing, there are recon flights scheduled for today and tomorrow to assess the status of the Thomas Fire and any damage that may have occurred from the recent storm to the forest area. Once it’s deemed safe fire crews will return to the fire area and suppression and suppression repair efforts will continue.
Wildfires exacerbate the potential for debris flow and are most likely to occur during high intensity rainfall. Debris flows can be extremely dangerous. There is currently a closure order that covers the burned area and surrounding areas as well. This order includes trails within the burned area. Please adhere to the closure order and stay out of the forest until Los Padres National Forest deems it safe for the public to reenter the area. Also, please be mindful on any notices and warning put out by our cooperators, Santa Barbara Office of Emergency Services and Ventura County Office of Emergency Management.
The Los Padres National Forest is closed to the public within the Thomas Fire perimeter on the Santa Barbara and Ojai Ranger Districts. The Sage Hill Group Campground is temporarily closed while fire crews use the area as a base camp.
Level 3 fire restrictions are in effect for the Los Padres National Forest. Campfires are allowed only in designated-use sites, and no fires are allowed in the backcountry; portable stoves and lanterns (with an on-off switch) are only permitted with a valid California Campfire Permit.
The federal Burn Area Emergency Response (BAER) team and California Watershed Emergency Response Team (WERT) are assessing areas within the Thomas Fire for burn severity and identifying locations at risk for flooding, debris flows and other post-fire hazards. The teams will turn over their data to Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management and Ventura County Office of Emergency Services, who will develop emergency preparedness and response plans for their respective communities.
County-based emergency service agencies are reviewing assessment reports from the BAER and WERT teams and working on emergency preparation plans for affected communities. After a wildfire, flood risk is usually highest until vegetation returns, which can take up to five years. Flood preparation information is available at www.countyofsb.org/pwd/floodprep.sbc for Santa Barbara County and www.venturacountyrecovers.org for Ventura County.
Flood Preparation: Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties are posting flood preparation and recovery information on the following websites: