The Ventura fire, also known as the Thomas fire, has had an enormous impact on so many of us who live in Ventura or know and love people who do. As of Wednesday morning, the fire had burned 65,000 acres and was still 0 percent contained, with at least 150 structures lost and thousands more threatened. Whether your home burned or you’re waiting to hear, are currently in an evacuation zone, or just want to stay informed, we have the most updated Ventura fire news. We also wanted to share some tips about staying safe in the days to come and offer the best ways to help those who are working so hard to save our beloved city and those affected by the fire.
Important things to know:
It’s not over
The Los Angeles Times reports that, “The fire that has ravaged Ventura County continued to burn out of control Wednesday, reaching the Pacific Ocean unchecked as officials warned many more homes have been lost.” Officials stress the importance of staying inside when instructed, staying out of the way of first responders, and heeding all evacuation orders.
As of yesterday, December 5, a curfew is in place for Ventura from 10pm to 5am. This will continue until the state of emergency has been discontinued. “During this curfew time no person shall be upon the public street, avenue, alley, park, or other public place or unimproved public realty within the entire jurisdictional limits of the City,” said the City of Ventura.
You may have to boil water
“After power outages near the Thomas fire, the city of Ventura sent out an advisory asking residents north of Poli Street and Foothill Road to use boiled tap water for drinking and cooking as a safety precaution,” said the Daily News. You can get instructions here.
Pay attention to air quality
You may be seeing ash and soot on your car or on the ground, depending on where you are and the direction of the wind. The air in many areas has also been impacted by the Ventura fire. Be mindful of being outdoors, and, especially, of your activity level outdoors. You can get more tips from the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District.
Currently, much of the city and surrounding areas are under mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders. According to Ready Ventura County, they include:
- “City of Ventura—Teloma east to Brent Street, Telegraph Road north to north of Foothill Road
- City of Ventura—Victoria Road east to Hill Road, Telegraph Road north to Foothill Road
- City of Ventura—North Ashwood Avenue east to Hill Road, Telegraph Road north to Foothill Road
- City of Ventura—North of Foothill Road from Wells Road to Poli Street
- City of Ventura—North of Main Street from Seward Avenue to Hwy 33 (includes entire Ventura Avenue area)”
To check on evacuations, call the hotline at 805-465-6650.
Where to evacuate
Numerous evacuation shelters have been established in and around Ventura, including: the Ventura County Fairgrounds at Miners Building, which includes shelter for animals; Nordhoff High School in Ojai; the Oxnard College Gymnasium in Oxnard; and the Veteran’s Memorial Building in Fillmore. There are also special evacuation rates at area hotels including the The ClockTower Inn and Travelers Beach Inn in Ventura. You can find a full list here.
Ways to help
If you happen to come upon a stray animal and it’s safe to intervene, “The Ventura County Animal Services shelters in Camarillo and Simi Valley are accepting stray pets.
Large animals such as horses and livestock can be transported to the Earl Warren Showground, 3400 Calle Real, in Santa Barbara,” said the City of Ventura.
There are several ways to donate to Ventura fire victims:
- “Text UWVC to 41444 and 100% of the donations will go directly to those affected by the fires,” said Ready Ventura County. This is done through the Thomas Fire Fund, which was created through the United Way of Ventura County, American Red Cross of Ventura County, and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services. You can also call 805-485-6288, or go online to the United Way of Ventura County’s website to donate.
- Send a check with “Thomas Fire Fund” in the memo line to: 702 County Square Drive, Suite 100 Ventura, CA 93003.
- Bring donations of food and water to the Ventura County Fairgrounds or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or visit the website to donate money.
- Call the Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit the website to make a cash donation.
- More than 100 animals of all types have been taken in by The Humane Society of Ventura County, and they are accepting donations of: Alfalfa hay, Timothy hay, cat chow, rabbit food, flashlights, headlamps, lanterns, water troughs, bottled water, fruit, snacks, hoses, and power generators. You can also donate food and water for volunteers, or make a cash donation.
- Noah’s Legacy Fund supports first responders rescuing animals in natural disaster areas. You can donate to the fund here or mail donations to P.O. Box 100515, Pasadena, CA 91189-0515.
For the latest information about the Ventura fire, visit Ready Ventura County. Everyone at The Farm continues to send our good wishes to everyone affected by the fire and our gratitude to first responders. Stay safe and be well. We are #VenturaStrong and will make it through this together.