Fire Info

 

For current fire information & frequently asked questions:
https://www.cityofventura.ca.gov/1254/Thomas-Fire


IMPORTANT RESOURCES AND LINKS


City Council meeting addresses Thomas Fire rebuilding issues, and three new proposals

by Richard Lieberman The Ventura City Council after returning from a brief summer break, held a five-hour meeting to address proposed new development changes to rules regulating Thomas Fire rebuilding efforts, and a contract to extend outside legal services with two city employee unions. Community Development Director Jeff Lambert discussed three new project proposals that […] Read More »

VCCDC has created a disaster recovery assistance grant program.

VCCDC offers disaster recovery grants for Thomas Fire Victims. Ventura County Community Development Corporation (VCCDC), a local non-profit community economic development organization, has created a disaster recovery assistance grant program for Ventura and Santa Barbara County residents who were affected by the Thomas Fire and/or Montecito Mudslides. The funds come from an $800,000 commitment made […] Read More »

Ventura County Community Development Corporation has created a disaster recovery assistance grant program.

Ventura County Community Development Corporation (VCCDC), a local non-profit community economic development organization, has created a disaster recovery assistance grant program for Ventura and Santa Barbara County residents who were affected by the Thomas Fire and/or Montecito Mudslides. The funds come from an $800,000 commitment made by Wells Fargo to assist with economic recovery for […] Read More »

New Cal Lutheran students will aid fire recovery in Grant Park

On Tuesday, August 28, approximately 650 incoming California Lutheran University students worked to help the hills above Ventura recover from the Thomas Fire as part of a partnership with the City of Ventura that began over 10 years ago. The incoming freshmen class will remove bottles and other trash exposed by the fire and spread mulch […] Read More »

Aloha Beach Festival to benefit the Thomas Fire Families and the Surf Rider Foundation.

The return of the Aloha Beach Festival is on Sept 1st and 2nd at Surfer’s Point/Promenade Park. This year’s benefit will be for the Thomas Fire Families and the Surf Rider Foundation. Title sponsor this year is Trade Desk and Patagonia Provisions. “The purpose of the Aloha Beach festival is to support our local social and environmental nonprofits” […] Read More »

Property tax relief available for those impacted by fires

If your property has been damaged by the recent fires, you may be eligible for property tax relief. In many cases, the damaged property can be reappraised in its current condition, with some taxes refunded to the property owner. Once rebuilt, the property’s pre damaged value will be restored. To qualify for property tax relief, you […] Read More »

United Way amplifies recovery assistance for those Impacted by Thomas Fire

Relief in the form of $1,500 from the United Way Thomas Fire and Flood Fund is on its way to the primary residents of households whose homes were destroyed or majorly damaged in the December blaze, United Way of Ventura County has announced. In the latest round of funding, The American Red Cross of the […] Read More »

Thomas Fire evacuation focus groups

Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley are conducting two focus groups in the Ventura/Santa Barbara area on the 2017 Thomas wildfire evacuations. Focus Group 1: Low Income Saturday, August 25th – 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – E.P. Foster Library in Ventura Eligibility 1) Evacuated or received an evacuation order for the 2017 Thomas […] Read More »

Grassroots partnership provides aid for those who don’t qualify for other programs

With the full effects of the Thomas Fire’s devastation still emerging, the Ventura County Community Foundation (VCCF) has awarded a $500,000 grant to a community-based partnership providing relief and recovery support to undocumented immigrants. The 805 UndocuFund is a partnership among Mixteco/ Indigenous Community Organizing Project (MICOP), Central Coast United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE), […] Read More »

Innovative online platform developed for Thomas Fire will transform global disaster recovery

On Sunday, July 22, Emily Barany, co-founder of ThomasFireHelp.org was honored by the Democratic Club of Ventura County. Emily was presented with the “2018 Outstanding Entrepreneur Award” in recognition of her business acumen and her leadership in developing ThomasFireHelp.org. Emily is the owner of Visionality, a business consultancy that has supported the work of nonprofit […] Read More »

Funds raised are used to sustain programs in three areas of focus

Open house and ribbon cutting held for United Way. Photo by Michael Gordon The United Way of Ventura County held an open house and ribbon cutting on June 19 to officially dedicate its new headquarters at 702 County Square Drive, Suite 100, in Ventura. The agency relocated in December from Camarillo. “We’re very excited about our […] Read More »

H.O.P.E. after the Thomas Fire

by Jennifer Tipton Ventura County Behavioral Health has collaborated with a long-term community mental health team called California HOPE of Ventura County, a federally funded and trained community-based counseling program created to support the community after the Thomas Fire. H.O.P.E. is an acronym for: Helping – Outreach – Possibilities – Empowerment. The long-term effects of […] Read More »

County to hold public meetings for Thomas Fire designers and contractors

Designers and contractors planning to work on projects for the reconstruction of buildings damaged or destroyed by the Thomas Fire are invited to attend a public outreach presentation to learn about the building permit process, including the County’s expedited process for fire victims. Representatives from the California State Licensing Board, Ventura County Building and Safety […] Read More »

United Way adds 4th phase to Thomas Fire and Flood Fund distribution

by Jennifer Tipton Phase I / Immediate Response: Within the first 30 days after the Thomas Fire erupted, United Way partnered with the Red Cross to identify those whose residences were damaged beyond habitability. There was no registration needed and eligibility was not income specific, 750 households were given a $500 pre-paid debit card. The […] Read More »

EDC-VC receives $450,000 to help businesses impacted by Thomas Fire

The Economic Development Collaborative-Ventura County recently received contributions from the Gene Haas Foundation and Pacific Western Bank to establish a loan fund in response to the Thomas fire and subsequent mudslides. The loan program is now helping businesses at a critical time as they feel the long-term strain of recovery. The Gene Haas Foundation quickly […] Read More »

Fire, debris flow victims eligible for up to $3,000 rent or mortgage payment assistance

Residents of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties whose homes or rentals were destroyed or severely damaged by the Thomas Fire and Montecito Debris Flow may be eligible for up to $3,000 in assistance thanks to a disaster assistance program established by the affected region’s three Realtor associations. Beginning immediately, homeowners and renters left homeless by […] Read More »

Wildfire Story Project to educate the public on wildfire risk

Ventura County Library joins StoryCenter and the California State Library at the launch of the California Wildfire Story Project to educate the public on the issues of wildfire risk and prevention across California. The California Wildfire Story Project is a series of public oral history workshops. The Ventura County Library events are at E.P. Foster […] Read More »

Thomas Fire Stories Project premieres on CAPSTV

ECTV interviewed Ventura Fire Chief Endaya at CAPS studio. The Thomas Fire Stories project will premiere on Friday, June 1 at 6pm on CAPS Media TV Channel 6. Every Friday evening a new story will début and repeat throughout the week on channel 6 and on CAPS Radio (104.1FM). The ongoing series features personal stories […] Read More »

Thomas Fire Evacuees invited to complete survey for chance to win $200

The Ventura County Transportation Commission (VCTC) and University of California, Berkeley Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (UC Berkeley) encourage Ventura County wildfire evacuees to participate in a study VCTC and UC Berkeley announce the launch of a research project, Understanding the Decision Making Process of Evacuees, designed to learn more about evacuation decisions by […] Read More »

USDA announces additional wildfire recovery details

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has announced new details on eligibility for a new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) disaster program, 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (2017 WHIP). In total, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will deploy up to $2.36 billion that Congress appropriated through the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 to help […] Read More »

Up to $8,550 in incentives makes rebuilding with more energy-saving systems more affordable

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) announced that, for customers who lost homes in the Thomas Fire or January 9th debris flow, the company will substantially increase financial incentives for those who wish to rebuild using sustainable designs and ultra-efficient appliances. The incentives will be offered through the California Advanced Homes Program (CAHP), which helps offset […] Read More »

To date 7 countries and 49 states responded by providing quilts

Volunteer Staci Brown and Kat Merrick proudly display one of the quilts available for those affected by recent tragedies. On December 4, 2017 the Thomas Fire and mudslides devastated Ventura and Montecito. Watching this devastation unfold the Ventura Modern Quilt Guild(MQG) and “superbuzzy” Fabrics & Craft Supplies Store decided to help by creating quilts for […] Read More »

How did World Central Kitchen come to help Ventura during the Thomas Fires?

by Jennifer Tipton The nonprofit organization, World Central Kitchen was launched by Chef Jose Andres (born Jose Andres Ramon Puerta), a Spanish American chef credited for bringing the small plates dining concept to America. The celebrity chef owns 27 restaurants that spread from Las Vegas to Miami and has been recognized by Time Magazine as […] Read More »

Ojai Studio Artists respond to the Thomas Fire

“Scorched Souls” is the upcoming exhibition of the Ojai Studio Artists at the Ojai Valley Museum. The exhibit documents the OSA artists’ reactions to the Thomas Fire, the largest fire in California state history. The exhibit will run until June 17. A portion of sales from the show will be donated to a local fire […] Read More »

CAPS and your stories

CAPS and your stories CAPS Media is recording Thomas Fire Stories with the public, fire fighters, first responders and others who want to share their story. The extensive documentary project is a collaboration with Ventura City Fire and Police, Ventura County Fire, Sheriff, Office of Emergency Response and the Museum of Ventura County. The year-long, […] Read More »

Were you affected by Thomas Fire or the flood?

The Ventura and Santa Barbara County Lions Clubs have a onetime offer for Thomas Fire and flood survivors. They have grant money to assist in your loss. If you need a one-time grant for assistance with rent, clothing, and vehicle or food expenses they want to help you. Please email mikeinojai@gmail.com and he will reply […] Read More »

Valley Fever – more prevalent after Thomas Fires?

Dr. Brugman is a leading pulmonologist in Ventura. by Jennifer Tipton Native to the San Joaquin Valley (hence the name “Valley Fever”) this airborne fungal infection dates back as far as 1892 and may also be referred to as Desert Fever or Desert Rheumatism. Valley Fever is due to the coccidioides fungus which enters the […] Read More »

Thomas Fire stories

Do you have a story to share? CAPS Media is recording Thomas Fire Stories with the public, fire fighters, first responders and others who want to share their story. The extensive documentary project is a collaboration with Ventura City Fire and Police, Ventura County Fire, Sheriff, Office of Emergency Response and the Museum of Ventura […] Read More »

Lawsuit filed against Socal Edison

Southern California based Wildfire Legal Group filed a lawsuit against SoCal Edison on behalf of 287 victims of the Thomas Fire. The lawsuit alleges that Edison is liable for negligently starting the fire, due to poor maintenance of electrical infrastructure and the surrounding vegetation. It further seeks to hold Edison responsible for the resulting mudslides […] Read More »

The Age of Consequences

Following the devastation of the Thomas Fires and the Montecito mud slides, many locals seek to educate themselves further about the present day status of climate change from trust-worthy sources. This effort presents such an opportunity. On Sunday, March 4th at 3:00 – 5:30pm, The Age of Consequences written and directed by Jared P. Scott […] Read More »

Art festival supported fire-flood victims

The Ventura Unified School District Office was the site of the Thomas Arts Festival, an art auction and benefit featuring music and performing arts created to assist those rebuilding their lives as a result of the Thomas fires and flood. The event took place on Saturday, February 17. The event showcased the creative work of […] Read More »

Art festival to support fire-flood victims Feb 17 at Bell Arts Factory

The Ventura Unified School District Office in West Ventura will be the site of the Thomas Arts Festival, an art auction and benefit also featuring music and performing arts created to assist those rebuilding their lives as a result of the Thomas fires and flood. The event will take place Saturday, February 17, 2018 from […] Read More »

Thomas Fire Benefit Festival

Photos by Bill Green and Pam Baumgardner On Feb.3 over 5,000 people filled Plaza Park for the sold-out Thomas Fire Benefit Festival, with performances by Grammy Award-winning singer Olivia Newton-John, actor Kevin Costner and his band Modern West, singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat, swing band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, three-time platinum hip-hop rap artist Super Duper KYLE […] Read More »

City struggles with fire and water recovery costs

by Burris DeBenning Disasters are a curve ball for governments, and the Thomas Fire was no exception for the City of Ventura. Plans set before the emergency get shelved and funds must be rearranged to meet immediate expenses until federal relief arrives. Still growing, the cost of the Thomas Fire is estimated to be $60 […] Read More »

Kids from the Harmony Project dedicate concert to first responders and victims of Thomas Fire

The student musicians in the Harmony Project of Ventura dedicated their performance during First Friday on February 2, at the Bell Arts Factory to the victims of the Thomas Fire, and to the first responders and firefighters who bravely aided in battling this devastation. “Most of the kids in our program and their families were […] Read More »

(Some) Fundraisers Raising Eyebrows

Be on the lookout for fraud. by Jennifer Tipton There has been an overwhelming response to raise funds for the Thomas Fire Victims. Organizations and individuals alike have come forward to help Ventura recover and although most have good intent, they are not the same. Much about these fundraisers is unclear … where do the […] Read More »

The journey back begins-Part one

In an on-going effort to help victims of the recent Thomas Fire navigate the road to rebuilding and recovery, the Ventura Breeze will be conducting a series of in depth interviews with victims of the fires. This series of articles will cover topics such as : Insurance, where victims are currently living, how they are […] Read More »

Southern California Edison restoring service as quickly as possible

Shortly after the Thomas Fire destroyed homes and power lines in Ventura, Southern California Edison was on the job restoring service as quickly as possible. Read More »

Mentoring matters

by Karen Leslie, writer with heart Celebrating National Mentoring Month brought Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County, a nonprofit with big hearts to the Vagabond Coffee Shop on Sunday January 21st. “Bigs” and “Littles” along with their mentors gathered to share a meal and with glee presented handmade cards and thank you notes to […] Read More »

Share your Thomas Fire story at CAPS Media

CAPS Media is launching the Thomas Fire Stories Project on Thursday, February 15 with an initial set of interviews recorded at the CAPS Media Center. Everyone in the community impacted by the fire is invited to share their story and contribute to the archive of our common experience. The individual interviews will be conducted by […] Read More »

The forgotten ones

by Jennifer Tipton The victims of the Thomas Fires are not limited to those that lost their homes, as was pointed out to me by a dear friend who described it as “the trickle-down effect”. (If you read through today’s issue of the Breeze, you will see who this very perceptive Venturan is…) Honestly, it […] Read More »

Through rain or snow or sleet or MUD…

by Jennifer Tipton It’s astounding how many Venturans work in Santa Barbara or the surrounding areas and with the closing of Highway 101 were unable to get to work. The alternate route to take Interstate 5 over the Grapevine took hours and became treacherous! Some chose to do this and stay in Santa Barbara until […] 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 www.gamesmedic.com) 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 »

THE GRAY

BY TODD BLOCK FOR EVERYONE AND EVERYPLACE AFFECTED BY THE FIRE THE GRAY THAT YOU SEE, BLANKETING OUR SKY, IS NOT OUR MORNING SEA FOG, IT’S NOT WET IT’S DRY. ANIMALS FLEE THE FOREST, AND BIRDS FORCED TO FLY, GRAYS SOURCE NOT DISCRIMINATE, SOME MAY LIVE, SOME MAY DIE. IT SEEPS IN YOUR SKIN, BURNS […] 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 jimscloset@gmail.com 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 https://t.co/F8csSX6ytV 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

THE GRAY THAT YOU SEE, BLANKETING OUR SKY IS NOT OUR MORNING SEA FOG, IT’S NOT WET IT’S DRY ANIMALS FLEE THE FOREST, AND BIRDS FORCED TO FLY GRAYS SOURCE NOT DISCRIMINATE, SOME MAY LIVE, SOME MAY DIE IT SEEPS IN YOUR SKIN, BURNS YOUR THROAT, WATERS YOUR EYE BENEATH THE GRAY BLANKET, NORMALCY AWRY […] Read More »

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 www.childhopeservices.org James Storehouse: 805‐499‐7161 or jamesstorehouse.org Raising Hope : 805-491-KIDZ (5439) or www.raisinghope.org VCFPA: 805-285-3790 or www.vcpfa.org  http://fostervckids.org/thomas-fire-donations/ 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 https://maps.google.com/maps 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 »


ThomasFireHelp expands to help survivors of fire

As the reports of the June 6th Holiday Fire surfaced, the ThomasFireHelp.org team was already hard at work to connect those in need to those who had help to give. Within hours of the fire’s start, the ThomasFireHelp team had expanded the platform once designed to meet the needs for the Thomas Fire and Montecito […] Read More »

Hardship Assistance Applications for United Way Thomas Fire and Flood Fund available

United Way of Ventura County (UWVC) has approved $281,172 for individual hardship assistance from the United Way Thomas Fire and Flood Fund. This is part of the $1.5 million made available in the current round of assistance funding, with applications for those remaining funds open through April 30. “Being able to get the funds in […] Read More »

Southern Californians Should Stay in Touch With FEMA

Southern California homeowners and renters who have registered for disaster assistance with FEMA following the December wildfires and January mudslides and flooding, are encouraged to stay in touch as their applications are processed. Financial help for home repair, temporary rental assistance, personal property loss and other losses or damage not covered by insurance may be […] Read More »

Applications for assistance still available

The application deadline for $1.5 million in assistance from the United Way Thomas Fire and Flood Fund for those impacted by the recent disasters has been extended to April 30. The application for individual hardship assistance is available now at vcunitedway.org in English and Spanish. The United Way Thomas Fire and Flood Fund will support […] Read More »

Ventura Family YMCA gives to employees who lost homes

Dana is one of the staff who received $1,000.00. At the YMCA Campaign Report Night on Feb. 23, four employees who lost their home from the Thomas Fire received $1000 from the Ventura Family YMCA. The $4000 was donated from San Francisco YMCA’s emergency relief fund. Every year, the San Francisco Y donates to a […] Read More »

Fire survivor’s Benefit Festival checks

Thank you for your incredible patience as we work on the distribution of the one-time Thomas Fire Benefit Festival checks. Each person/household will receive $750! We can confirm that the checks will be ready Friday, March 16. There are three distribution centers: Ventura Residents: Please come to the Downtown Ventura Partners offices at 420 East […] Read More »

A few days left to register for disaster assistance

Southern California residents recovering from the December wildfires and January mudslides and flooding have until March 16 to register for federal disaster assistance . Individuals and families who were living in Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties and suffered damage or losses from the fires and mudslides are encouraged to register for […] Read More »

The Salvation Army focuses on long term recovery

Volunteers that came from our community to help receive and sort donations for the fire victims.(That’s Silvia all the way on the right end) Although fully contained the Thomas Fire will have an effect on Ventura County for years to come. In addition to burning more than 300,000 acres, the blaze destroyed over 1,000 structures, […] Read More »

United Way Thomas Fire and Flood Fund grows to more than $3.7 million

Eric Harrison, President & CEO of United Way of Ventura County was a recent guest on the radio show Face of Ventura on FM station KPPQLP hosted by Publisher Brown. Disaster victims can apply for the next phase of relief funding through the United Way Thomas Fire and Flood Fund, which has grown to more […] Read More »

Property tax relief is on the way for Thomas Fire victims

Ventura County Assessor Dan Goodwin, Auditor Controller Jeff Burgh, and Treasurer-Tax Collector Steven Hintz have announced that reduced property tax bills or refunds will begin being mailed to fire victims. Staff from all three departments have been attending post-fire community meetings to answer questions, and appraisers have already inspected more than 3,000 properties. The reduced […] Read More »

Habitat for Humanity ReStore offers $200 vouchers

Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore in Oxnard is offering vouchers valued at $200 to households that lost their home in recent wildfires. The ReStore is a discount home improvement store selling furniture, building supplies and appliances with all proceeds supporting Habitat’s mission to build homes, communities and hope. To claim your voucher, please visit the Habitat […] Read More »

A roadmap to recovery

A local group of building professionals; architects, engineers and contractors have come together and are working closely with the city in developing a roadmap to recovery. They have now organized that information and are sharing it with the affected homeowners through neighborhood workshops. These workshops have a representative from the city and many experienced professionals […] Read More »

FEMA deadline is March 16

Those affected are reminded that FEMA is a phone call, a mouse click, or FEMA app away. Disaster survivors can go online at DisasterAssistance.gov, use the FEMA app, or call 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585 for TTY users. Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service can call 800-621-3362. The toll-free numbers are open 7 a.m. to […] Read More »

Local business resources offer recovery workshops

Representatives from the Small Business Development Center for Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties (SBDC), Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will be presenting free workshops on resources available for small businesses affected by the Thomas fire and mudslides. The workshops will present information to help businesses that have suffered physical […] Read More »

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) plays a significant role in helping disaster survivors recover

Californians in Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles and San Diego counties who were affected by the December wildfires and recent mudslides and flooding, may be referred to the SBA after applying for disaster assistance with FEMA. If you are contacted and asked to submit an application for a low-interest SBA disaster loan, don’t hesitate to […] Read More »

Deadline for Thomas Fire victims to apply for Individual Assistance from FEMA is approaching

The deadline for residents affected by the Thomas Fire to apply for Individual Assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency is March 16, 2018. Residents can apply online or at the Disaster Recovery Center FEMA is operating at the Ventura County Credit Union’s location in Ventura. Ventura County Credit Union 6026 Telephone Rd, Ventura, CA […] Read More »

Disaster victims may apply for food benefits until February 14

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) today announced that individuals and families impacted by the wildfires and/or mudslides in Santa Barbara or Ventura Counties may be eligible to receive one month of Disaster CalFresh food assistance. A family of four with available monthly income and resources up to $2,755 per month may be eligible […] Read More »

Free Erosion Control and Fire-Safe Landscaping Class at Ventura College Feb. 7

Ventura Residents Are Invited to the Erosion Control and Fire-Safe Landscaping Class, Wednesday, February 7, 2018, 7-9:00 pm at Ventura College’s Wright Event Center. This FREE Class will help property owners make informed decisions about erosion and sediment control implementation as well as fire-safe landscape planning post-Thomas Fire. Learn about post-fire best management practices and important factors […] Read More »

City’s ambitious rebuilding plan

by Burris DeBenning Boldly proposed at the City Council meeting of January 22, the Community Development Department presented a plan to rebuild Ventura’s burned communities and get residents back into new homes as quickly as possible. “The consensus here is that we want a fast, inexpensive and efficient means for people to rebuild,” said Mayor […] Read More »

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

by Lori Harasta 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 […] Read More »

A quick look at post-disaster relief

by Mira Reverente Ventura, Santa Barbara and other neighboring areas took a beating with the wildfires, mudflows, flooding and debris flows. With this recent spate of natural disasters, one wonders where, when and what type of assistance programs may be available to those who suffered damages or losses. Federal assistance After an amendment to the […] Read More »

Additional resources available for Thomas Fire and flood victims

The Economic Development Collaborative–Ventura County’s special services coordinator, Clare Briglio, has announced additional resources now available for businesses recovering from the impact of the Thomas Fire and subsequent floods and mudslides. “New federal declarations have secured additional resources for those who have suffered personal and/or business injury as a result of the Thomas Fire and […] Read More »

Amtrak Pacific Surfliner temporarily increases service to Santa Barbara County

The Amtrak® Pacific Surfliner® will temporarily increase train service to Santa Barbara County beginning Saturday, January 20, 2018, by adding one additional roundtrip between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara to help accommodate travel demand during the continued closure of Highway 101. Since train tracks reopened on Thursday, January 11, 2018, following the devastating mudslides near […] Read More »

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 http://www.unitedwayla.org/ventura_county_thomas_fire 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 »