Fire Info

For current fire information & frequently asked questions:


A community coming together with Thomas Fire fundraisers

Even vehicles will need to be replaced. The Thomas Fire Fund is a coalition of the United Way, the Red Cross and the Sheriff’s Department. 100% of the funds go directly to those affected by the Thomas Fire. For more information visit January is National Mentoring Month, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura […] Read More »

Sign up for no-cost CalRecycle fire debris removal program

The deadline is approaching for residents affected by the Thomas Fire to sign up by filing Right-of-Entry forms for no-cost debris removal services from CalRecycle for severely damaged or destroyed property. Through this program, all the work is undertaken by CalRecycle contractors and there is no direct cost to the property owner; however, where applicable, […] Read More »

Additional information meetings set in Ventura for CalRecycle debris removal services

Two additional informational meetings have been scheduled in Ventura for residents in the city of Ventura and the unincorporated areas of the county affected by the Thomas Fire who are seeking debris removal services from CalRecycle for severely damaged or destroyed property. The information to be presented in these meetings is identical, so residents can […] Read More »

Informational meetings regarding fire debris removal Jan. 4 and Jan. 6

Informational meetings have been set for residents affected by the Thomas Fire who are seeking debris removal services from CalRecycle for severely damaged/ or destroyed property.  Two meetings will be held in Ventura. Meetings will also be held in Ojai and Santa Paula. Fire victims are invited to attend whichever meeting is the most convenient […] Read More »

Assistance Center closed its doors but help is still available

After serving for two weeks as a one-stop center for fire recovery information and assistance, the Local Assistance Center that was jointly run by the County and the City of Ventura closed its doors on Saturday, Dec. 23. Residents still seeking services may obtain services at existing local County and City offices. The County of […] Read More »

Workshop on renters' rights at Ventura County Government Center Dec. 27 at 4pm

On Wednesday, December 27, the County of Ventura, in partnership with the City of Ventura, is hosting an informational workshop to help renters understand their rights.  The workshop will provide information covering a wide variety of topics including: tenant rights and responsibilities; landlord rights and responsibilities; unexpected rent increases and price gouging; and affects to lease […] Read More »

Local Assistance Center in Ventura closing Saturday, Dec. 23

After serving for two weeks as a one-stop center for fire recovery information and assistance, the Local Assistance Center that was jointly run by the County and the City of Ventura will close its doors on Saturday, Dec. 23, at 5 p.m. Residents still seeking services are encouraged to visit the Center by Saturday, or may obtain services […] Read More »

United Way Thomas Fire Fund

In response to an outpouring of support, United Way of Santa Barbara County is joining forces with United Way of Ventura County with a joint fund to directly support those individuals and families affected by the fire in both Counties—The United Way Thomas Fire Fund. Local community partners have determined that the United Way organizations, […] Read More »

Ventura County Community Foundation gives $477,000 to support those affected by fires

The Ventura County Community Foundation awarded a total of $477,000 to two vital service providers providing immediate relief efforts to those impacted by the Thomas Fire–the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army. The grants awarded to these organizations will help fund their overall relief efforts including staffing of disaster shelters and the provision of […] Read More »

City responds to fire crisis

by Burris DeBenning As the City enters the recovery phase of fire operations, resident concerns, questions and needs are being answered and assessed and priorities ranked. At the December 11 City Council meeting, leadership personnel from various agencies provided status reports, and the City Manager introduced the team, headed by the Assistant City Manager, Dan […] Read More »

VCAAA’s Homeshare Program seeks to assist residents affected by Thomas Fire

The Ventura County Area Agency on Aging’s Homeshare Program is actively seeking local homeowners who are interested in assisting families and individuals displaced by the Thomas Fire. Homeowners in the Ventura area who have vacant bedrooms or homes to rent under short-term agreements are encouraged to apply. The VCAAA and Homeshare are an entity of […] Read More »

Southern California Edison (SCE) crews working around the clock

Southern California Edison (SCE) crews are working around the clock to restore service for Ventura residents. The City of Ventura has provided an area at the Community Park for SCE to use as their staging area for equipment. Progress of their work will be determined by weather conditions, terrain and the movement of the fire. […] Read More »

Thousands of acres of wildlife habitat were also lost

by David Goldstein, Ventura County Public Works Agency, IWMD Residents eager to return to a normal life following the fires may be tempted to begin cleanup immediately. Instead, additional preparation can save money and reduce risks. In declaring a local health emergency the Ventura County Board of Supervisors enabled state agencies to launch a program […] Read More »

County working on plans for property tax relief for fire victims

The offices of the Treasurer-Tax Collector, Assessor and Auditor-Controller are working on a plan to streamline the application process for property tax relief due to damage caused by the Thomas Fire. In some cases, penalties and fees on late payments will be waived for fire victims, but taxpayers are still encouraged to make full payments […] Read More »

Immigration help available to those affected by wildfires

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reminds the public that they offer immigration services that may help people affected by unforeseen circumstances such as natural disasters. The following measures may be available on a case-by-case basis upon request: Changing a nonimmigrant status or extending a nonimmigrant stay for an individual currently in the United States. […] Read More »

Insurance protection for all Californians

Top Ten Tips for Wildfire Claimants 1. Obtain a complete copy of your residential insurance policy, including your declarations page. The law requires your insurance company to provide this to you free of charge within 30 days of your request. Ask your agent or insurer representative to explain your relevant coverages. 2. Take note of […] Read More »

Erosion and ash control product applied to burn areas

The Public Works Department has hired Galion Erosion Control to spray EarthGuard onto residences and other areas burned by the Thomas Fire. The application is a public service to help keep hazardous material from getting into the storm drains by keeping it in place and preventing it from going onto other properties, as well as […] Read More »

City of Ventura offers parcel record packets to fire victims

City of Ventura residents whose property was damaged or destroyed by the Thomas Fire will be able to pick up a parcel record packet for their property. The City of Ventura Community Development Department has compiled all records for parcels with homes or structures that were damaged or destroyed. This information may assist homeowners with […] Read More »

Free masks are available

N-95 masks require a tight seal to be effective. Due to continuing unhealthy air conditions resulting from the Thomas Fire, free particulate respirators (N-95 masks) are being distributed as part of a coordinated effort of the Ventura County Public Health Department, Emergency Medical Services Agency, various County agencies, City government and multiple community based organizations. […] Read More »

Declaration of local health emergency

On December 8, due to potential widespread toxic exposures and threats to public health and the environment that exist in the aftermath of a major wildfire disaster, the Ventura County Public Health Officer declared a Local Health Emergency to limit the public’s exposure to hazardous substances. This Declaration enables the State Department of Toxic Substances […] Read More »

Instructions for dealing with ash

If your home was impacted by the Thomas Fire, here are some health precautions to take after you return home and before you begin the clean- up process. If a structure on your property was destroyed during the recent fire, then you must wait for the proper authorities to approve and direct your clean-up. However, […] Read More »

County launches rental assistance program for fire victims

The County of Ventura Board of Supervisors has approved the use of $500,000 in General Fund to establish a rental assistance program for eligible residents who cannot return to their homes due to the impact of local wildfires.  The program, which expands upon current rental assistance programs for low-income households administered by the County of […] Read More »

Ventura County and City of Ventura open "One-Stop" Local Assistance Center at Poinsettia Pavilion in Ventura

On Wednesday, December 13, the County of Ventura and the City of Ventura will open a Local Assistance Center at the Poinsettia Pavilion in Ventura. Located at 3451 Foothill road in Ventura, the center is a one-stop resource for residents affected by the Thomas Fire. The Local Assistance Center will be open Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 9 […] Read More »

Free ads in the Breeze Dec. 20 issue if related to fire information.

In the Dec.20 issue of the Ventura Breeze we will post for free any fire related information that might help Venturan’s. Such as what your needs are? What you have to give others? Volunteering to help others, looking for a place to rent, have a place to rent or to share. No retail businesses please just folks […] Read More »

Ventura County United Way, American Red Cross and Sheriff's Office team up to create Thomas Fire Fund

The United Way of Ventura County, American Red Cross of Ventura County, and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services have teamed up to create the Thomas Fire Fund. The Thomas Fund, where 100% of your donations will support those in our community affected by the wildfire. To donate: Text “UWVC” to 41444, go […] Read More »

Kevin Costner to help support community at Thomas Fire Benefit Festival

Kevin’s love, care and concern for this town soon became evident. Photo and article by Pam Baumgardner I admit, I was nervous to be speaking with three-time Golden Globe and Academy Award winning actor, producer, director and musician, Kevin Costner. I’ve been a long-time fan of his work and have seen him twice in concert with […] Read More »

We all mourn with the families who lost their homes

by City Council Member Christy Weir The sudden and fierce Thomas Fire has left a lasting impact on our community. We are proud of our residents and our fire and police departments for facilitating the evacuation of one-fourth of our city within two hectic hours, with no injuries. The fire destroyed over 500 homes in […] Read More »

Monster firestorm

by James Francis Gray One tentacle of the Thomas fire started in the Koenstein Road neighborhood in upper Ojai with a blown transformer just after 6:30 p.m. Monday, December 4th, 2017. Gusts of fifty mile-an-hour winds whipped the sparks across the landscape destroying many homes, outbuildings and cars. Only a few homes could be saved. […] Read More »

Continue the healing through music

At a time when the fires have left so many in need, we are reminded that music is also an important healing tool after a disaster because of its ability to help people process emotions and because in many ways music is a community activity. In an effort to continue the healing through music, to […] Read More »

The need to continue to support each other

Michael White has been a long-term member of the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team. Going Forward by Jennifer Tipton Filling in as the acting Disaster Services Coordinator for Ventura County Behavioral Health for just several months, Michael White had already been a lead in Behavioral Health’s Disaster Response Team for several years and a long-term […] Read More »

Do you want to cuddle?

St. Vincent de Paul in Santa Paula have been donating cuddle blankets and pillow cases that are made by volunteers. It is geared for infants up to 18 years of age and they can also do adult blankets. These are for people who have lost their homes due to the Thomas Fire. They have covered Santa […] Read More »

Kat Merrick local Leader on the Thomas Fire

by Randal Beeman Growing up in hurricane country in South Florida, Kat Merrick learned from her parents that the best response to a natural disaster is to immediately get to work helping others. Naturally, when the Thomas Fire broke out in Santa Paula Merrick was on the phone offering assistance to her extensive network of […] Read More »

Seminar on Local Investment in Energy Generation Jan. 11

The Ventura County Climate Hub invites the public to a panel discussion about localizing sources of energy for our region. Topics will include the progress for cities joining Los Angeles Community Choice Energy, the challenge from the CPUC that may delay participation, So Cal Edison’s plans for a 4th power line into our region, and […] Read More »

We Are Ventura Part 2

by Jennifer Tipton It came without warning, on Monday, December 4th, late into the evening, sudden panic shattered our sleepy little seaside town, we’ve seen many tragedies across the country, but never here…not in our hometown! That’s not entirely true, on March 12, 1928 the man-made St. Francis Dam in Northern Los Angeles County burst […] Read More »

Back home to appreciate view

A few days after the house of Ron & Barbara D’Incau had burnt down, Ron went to Goodwill and bought two chairs and an umbrella so that they could sit and enjoy the beautiful Ventura sunset. He said, “That is one of the main reasons that we bought the house.” You will learn more about […] Read More »

Revisiting family memories lost in the fire

Alan Neuman (from grew up in this house on Via Ondulando. His mom still owns it. In the 1970’s, his father passed away in the home’s kitchen. He was not there to look for mementos, but just to remember the wonderful times spent in the home. Read More »

CAPS Media documenting Thomas Fire stories

Everyone in our community celebrates the extraordinarily courageous efforts of thousands of fire fighters, law enforcement personnel and other first responders who have tirelessly battled the devastating Thomas Fire for weeks. At CAPS Media we are planning to document this once-in-a-lifetime tragedy by working with Ventura City Fire and Police departments, County Fire and Sheriff […] Read More »

Friends set up their own distribution center

Friends and business owners, Camilo Stinson, Sky Sunner and Jon Ochoa wanted to volunteer at the Fairgrounds, but their assistance wasn’t needed, so they put together their own distribution center at the corner of Victoria and Telegraph Road in East Ventura. Music was playing, donations piled high and these generous guys were barbecuing around the […] Read More »

Dr. Sean Anderson to discuss impacts of Thomas Fire on wilderness and wildlife

On the evening of Thurs., Jan. 18, Ventura Land Trust (VLT) will host a community lecture entitled “No Doubting Thomas: The Impacts, Management, and World after the Thomas Fire” at the Poinsettia Pavilion, 3451 Foothill Rd. Beginning at 7 p.m., this first in VLT’s 2018 Environmental Speaker Series, will he led by Dr. Sean Anderson, […] Read More »

Prevent erosion from stressed landscapes

by David Goldstein, VCPWA, IWMD The ongoing drought and other recent events have stressed local landscapes, and recent warm and dry weather may make rains seem distant, but as House Stark says in Game of Thrones, “Winter is coming.” When rains hit weakened landscapes, the result is often erosion. If topsoil washes off your property […] Read More »

Efforts ongoing to protect Ventura County communities from flood hazards

Acres of land and vegetation now compromised by the Thomas Fires will have a recovery team consisting of Federal, State, Ventura County and City departments. The team is on high alert as these regions are extremely susceptible to debris flows and flooding. From early modeling already done by the Ventura County Public Works Agency (VCPWA) […] Read More »

Sunset by Wendy Winet in current CMH show, "H2O"

Call for Entries at Community Memorial Hospital exhibit “Precious” Deadline: Midnight, Saturday, January 6. With the recent fires, Mother Nature has reminded us once again that we are not necessarily in charge here! For many who had to flee, last-minute decisions had to be made to take only those things that were most precious. For […] Read More »

City responds to fire crisis

by Burris DeBenning Evacuate immediately!” With barely any time to snatch up valuables, several thousand Venturans heard this mandatory evacuation order on the evening of December 4 blaring from police and fire megaphones, because of the horror that was rapidly approaching Ventura’s hillside communities and had already consumed thousands of acres in Santa Paula. Santa […] Read More »

Thomas Fire art by twelve year old Evin Brown

Twelve year old Evin Brown reflected on the Thomas Fire with his wonderful painting. It is not for sale by his grandparents because it is in their private collection. Read More »

Livingston patients continue to receive in-home care during the Thomas Fire disaster

Despite blazes, blackouts, and evacuations due to the Thomas fire, Livingston’s nurses, social workers, therapists and caregivers continued to keep patients safe and as comfortable as possible as they performed their clinical and custodial duties. They helped some patients evacuate, packing up precious mementos and personal items, and even drove one client to a safe […] Read More »

Let’s Rebuild Regeneratively

by Ron Whitehurst The author is co-owner of Rincon-Vitova Insectaries and Chair of the Board of Ventura Food Coop Fire is a natural primal element, but the devastation was man made. Our First Peoples burned brush every couple of years to manage nutrients, soil microbes, and improve the ecology for deer and acorns. How do […] Read More »



CAPS Media will continue to update fire-related information throughout the holidays

Full house attentive crowd at community meeting at Buena High School. by Elizabeth Rodeno Our heartfelt thoughts and best wishes go out to the citizens of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties especially those who have suffered personal tragedies caused by the devastating fires. We celebrate the extraordinarily courageous efforts of thousands of fire fighters, law […] Read More »

What is the truck commonly seen around town with the Cal-Fire logo?

by Staci Brown Cal Fire is the acronym for the “California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection” They provide fire protection and stewardship for over 31 million acres of California’s privately-owned wildlands. They also provide various emergency services in 36 of the State’s 58 counties via contracts with local governments. Because of the Department’s size […] Read More »

Coping with Loss

by Jennifer Tipton During this difficult time, there is a need to know how to cope with loss. The 5 stages of grieving that occur with any loss: denial anger bargaining depression acceptance. Feelings of “this isn’t real” to “how could this happen” to “if only…” It is not uncommon to bounce back and forth […] Read More »

Insurance understanding is key to recovery

by Sheli Ellsworth Longtime Ventura resident Susan Lang was prepared for disaster. “We prided ourselves that we had a ‘go bag’ ready in the garage in case of an earthquake plus having scanned our important documents, installed various back-up systems, and housed several external drives at other locations.” The hungry Thomas fire destroyed her home […] Read More »

Protect your health during the California fires

by Dr. Brent Caplan and Dr. Tiffany Caplan-Central Coast Center for Integrative Health The Thomas fire has caused tragic loss in our community. However, it is inspiring to see the community come together to support each other through this difficult time. One important thing to keep in mind is the health impact of the wildfires. […] Read More »

Jim’s Closet travels to Ventura to help fire victims

When Jim passed away, instead of giving his clothes away, Cheri Jo Weissenbuger decided to form her own non-profit called Jim’s Closet. She travels to disasters from her home in Lompoc with her free stuff for people in need. Jim’s Closet is in the parking lot at the Museum. Email her at to find out the […] Read More »

"Thomas" by John Sanders Jones

this week the surreal and the unreal met the real the real came out ahead for the real is the community support and love for one another through this I know the uplifting has just begun Read More »

Ventura barber Jossy Carbajal gives free haircuts to evacuees and firemen

Jossy Carbajal is a barber at Ventura Barber Company. Immediately after she heard that the fairgrounds opened up to the displaced she went there and set up free haircuts for all evacuees. She also was giving the firemen quick haircuts as they were fueling up their trucks at State Beach. She is just a giving […] Read More »

Loss of Home can be difficult

by Sheli Ellsworth Losing a home by fire is not only the destruction of personal possessions, heirlooms and important documents, it is the loss of comfort and safety. Suddenly, small things—once taken for granted—become time-sucking inconveniences. Tweezers, can-openers and medicines can be replaced, but it takes time, energy, lists and attention to the million thoughts […] Read More »

A Helping Hand

The public can get incident information at or call 465-6650. Needed items for those affected by fire in Ventura can come to Community Presbyterian Church to pick up clothing, blankets, shoes etc. Requirements are you must be from Ventura or those fire areas off of the 33. We ask to only take what you […] Read More »

It was odd for her to call that late

by Barbara Brown On Monday around ten, my neighbor Lauren called. It was odd for her to call that late… her voice was tense. She relayed news from her husband Tom Lanski, a Ventura County Fire Captain— the fire in Wheeler Canyon was moving toward Ondulando and she should, precautionarily, pack. Alerting our neighbors, we […] Read More »

Thomas Fire incident community meeting at Buena High School

Over one thousand attended the public meeting. by Richard Lieberman Saturday, Dec. 9 a public meeting to discuss the on-going Thomas Fire was held at Buena High School auditorium. The meeting was called to alert residents of the latest developments of the Thomas Fire. Following the meeting the cafeteria was utilized to present several city, […] Read More »

"A Rising Up" by writer with heart, Karen Leslie

There is a blanketed hush of humbleness that is spreading like wild fire, soothing away the raw edges of destruction in the residents of Ventura County. It is a thankfulness that goes beyond monetary things. A united force and breath of relief are now threaded in the tapestry of our lives. From lovingly handmade signs […] Read More »

"ANIMALS FLEE THE FOREST" by James Francis Gray


Trash Pickup Not Available in Evacuation Areas

Harrison Industries advises that trash pickup is not being allowed in mandatory evacuation areas until further notice. No removal of fire debris can occur from properties without a hazardous material inspection conducted by either the Environmental Protection Agency or the State Department of Toxic Substances Control. Several areas affected by the Thomas Fire have been […] Read More »

Cooper wants to share some puppy love with fire victims

Occupational therapist Lauren Taluy and her registered therapy dog Cooper are available to visit places supporting displaced families for Cooper to share some puppy love with those affected by the fires. Cooper is 10 years old and has been with Lauren since he was 8 weeks old, which is when he began his life as […] Read More »

Ventura Family YMCA increases free services to the community

In the aftermath of local fires, the Ventura Family YMCA will increase child care, membership and facility access to members in the community who need it. The Y offers firefighters and anyone who have lost their homes to the fire free membership until March 31. Those in need have free access to the Y until December 31. […] Read More »

First Responders eat FREE at Vagabond Coffee Shop

Spread the word! Inform all First Responders that they eat FREE at the Vagabond Coffee Shop and Restaurant – breakfast, lunch or dinner. 760 E. Thompson Blvd. Read More »

CoLAB FOUNDATION collecting new unwrapped toys

Collecting brand new unwrapped toys and can be dropped off at the following locations: Camarillo RE/MAX Gold Coast – 601 Daily Dr., Suite 102 Supervisor Long’s Office – 1203 Flynn Rd., Suite 220  Oxnard RE/MAX Gold Coast – 1151 S. Victoria Ave RE/MAX Gold Coast – 3550 Harbor Blvd. Ventura Jensen Design & Survey – 1672 Donlon St. RE/MAX Gold Coast […] Read More »

Foster VC Kids need help with children displaced by the fire

Many families who shelter and help foster youth in our community  and their children have been displaced by the Thomas Fire. They are in great need. Please help by donating to the following organizations: Child Hope Services : 805-419-6182 or James Storehouse: 805‐499‐7161 or Raising Hope : 805-491-KIDZ (5439) or VCFPA: 805-285-3790 or Read More »

Ventura Townehouse has space for displaced seniors

The Ventura Townehouse Active Retirement Community has immediate apartments available for seniors (65 +) displaced by the local fires. Please contact Samantha for those in need. 805.642.3263 Read More »

Donations of everyday items, including pet food and volunteers needed

Need donations of essential everyday items as well as pet food and need volunteers to help organize the items for distribution. Donations may be dropped off at 364 N Dos Caminos Ventura 93003 and families displaced by the fire can stop by that location  to pick-up essential everyday items directly and anytime during the day.  Contact: Sara […] Read More »

Mission Church in Ventura receiving and distributing supplies

Mission Church in Ventura is now open as a resource center,receiving and distributing collected supplies. If you are in need, please come to 2875 Elba St. and volunteers will be ready to help you. The resource center will be open daily 10am-8pm. “We are heartbroken for people in our county that have experienced loss due to […] Read More »

Ventura County Library closures and extended hours

The Ventura County Library has been tremendously impacted by the ongoing Thomas Fire that continues to burn in Ventura County, CA.  Several library branches are closed due to mandatory evacuations, power outages, fire danger, inaccessible or unsafe travel routes to and from facilities, unavailable staffing, and air quality.  No library facilities have been burned or […] Read More »

52nd Annual Parade of Lights to continue as planned Dec. 9th

The 52nd Annual Parade of Lights, “Fairy Tales Afloat,” and daytime activities are planned to be held as scheduled on December 9th, the Ventura County Harbor Department announced today. “After consulting with weather and public safety officials regarding potential impacts from the Thomas Fire, we have determined that we can proceed with this much-loved community tradition,” […] Read More »

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