It's a reality check about the growth of the Thomas Fire: a new command post has been established at Cachuma Lake in the Santa Ynez Valley.

As the massive Thomas brush fire has continued to grow in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, it’s impacted more and more lives.

KCLU’s Lance Orozco reports people at a Carpinteria shopping plaza were comparing notes with friends and neighbors about the crisis, and what they think will happen next.

The Albertson’s parking lot off of Casitas Pass Road in Carpinteria was jammed with cars Sunday, even though some of the businesses like Starbucks were closed due to fire related power outages.

The Thomas fire has grown to 96,000 acres, and extended from Ventura County in to Santa Barbara County.

15,000 structures are reported to be at risk from the monster blaze which began Monday night.  A flareup of the blaze late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning led to the shutdown of Highway 101 from Ventura to Carpinteria, but it was reopened in both directions by around 7 a.m.

Southern California Edison says that when the Thomas Fire broke out Monday, the company had to cut power in many areas, both due to the fire's impact on the lines and because of concerns about firefighter's safety.

Major transmission lines were affected at Lake Ventura in Santa Barbara County.


The Santa Ana winds have been relatively calm Wednesday morning, but the Thomas Fire is still growing as over 65,000 acres of land have been burned.

The fire jumped the 101 in the Fairia Beach Area and burned to the ocean overnight, though no homes were damaged.

The fire has forced some 50,000 people from their homes, with some residents of the city of Ventura barely having enough time to grab key items and flee.

Multiple evacuations are being enforced across the region.

LA County Fire Air Ops

There’s a new threat posed by another one of the brush fires in the region, with concern it may move from Los Angeles to Ventura County.

A fast-moving brush blaze called the Rye Canyon Fire erupted in Santa Clarita Tuesday morning, shutting down both directions of the 5 Freeway in the area.

It's estimated to be around 5000 acres.

The fire was burning north of Newhall Ranch Road and east of the 5 Freeway. Both directions of the 5 Freeway were shut down at Highway 126 due to the expanding blaze. The freeway reopened Tuesday afternoon.

As the Thomas Fire blazes in Ventura, another fire has popped up in Thousand Oaks.

The smaller fire has popped up in the 2000 block of Roadrunner Avenues, a gated community area.

The report described a two acre fire that officials identified with the potential to escalate to ten acres, depending on the wind conditions.

6 units have been called to the area, with an additional air support on the way.

A fast moving brush fire in Ventura County now cover more than 26,000 acres of land, and has destroyed multiple homes.

Strong Santa Ana winds pushed the Thomas Fire along a several mile stretch of mountains from Santa Paula to Ventura.  The blaze forced thousands of evacuations, including more than 400 homes in Santa Paula.

Community Resources

Dec 5, 2017

For up-to-date information on areas of concern in Santa Barbara County, visit to find out more.

Visit for the most recent information for Ventura County, or call the incident information hotline at (805) 465-6650.

(VCFD Photo)

Update: As of 9:15 a.m., the fire has expanded to 45,500 with 1000 firefighters involved in the fighting effort.

Update: As of 2:20 a.m., 7,786 homes are under evacuation orders, and the fire is at 26,000 acres.

A massive wildfire continues its explosive growth in Ventura County, burning on multiple fronts in the county.

The streets on the South Coast rumbled and growled Sunday morning with hundreds of motorcycles on the move.

The annual Unity Shoppe Toy Run has been a holiday tradition; the riders came from throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.

There will be about 50 fewer beds at the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission this winter.

The facility is under reconstruction.

On a special walking tour of the project that is underway as of Monday, President Rolf Geyling said his administrative offices are among the areas vacated by the staff to put in beds for women.

(Photo courtesy Squire Foundation)

A drive into the foothills above Santa Barbara, off of Highway 154 going up San Marcos Pass takes you into some elegant neighborhoods with large homes, and panoramic views. But, a turn down a street off of San Antonio Creek Road brings you to something truly different.

As you go down a steep driveway, you notice first one sculpture, and then another, and another. The home is called Via Maria. It’s a place where a little known, but unique non-profit which promotes the arts houses artists in residence.

A teenage boy and a man are in custody after what Ventura County Sheriff’s deputies say was a failed robbery attempt at a Newbury Park drug store which lead to some lockdowns at nearby schools.

Investigators say a teen wearing a mask, and carrying a gun entered the store on the 400 block of Reino Road just after 8:30 this morning. But, the would-be robber apparently became spooked when a customer walked into the store, and he fled. Seven nearby public schools were put on lockdown as a precaution.

The main route to and from downtown Santa Barbara could have a new look.

The State Street underpass in Santa Barbara was the focus of the town hall meeting Wednesday evening.

Artists, architects, transportation officials and residents were all coming up with suggestion to change the look of the concrete walls and walkways.

Some of the suggestions include more lighting, wider bike lanes, fewer cars, more art, and also different ambient sounds like dolphins, whales, and waves.

The city is considering ideas and their next steps.