hill fire

Photo by California Governor's Office of Emergency Services

Crews are making progress on cleaning up hundreds of properties that were devastated by the Woolsey and Hill Fires in Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

It has been about six months since the Woolsey and Hill wildfires destroyed more than 1,500 properties. About two-thirds of those are under the state’s Consolidated Debris Removal Program with no direct cost to owners.

As a result of the region’s brush fires and flooding, property owners in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties who meet certain requirements still have time to have their property taxes deferred. The state Property Tax Postponement program allows delayed payment for homeowners who are at least 62, or disabled, and meet income guidelines.

More than 200 properties in Ventura, and Los Angeles Counties hit by the Woolsey, and Hill fires have now been cleared under a state run debris removal program. 24 parcels have been cleared in Ventura County, and 185 in Los Angeles County.

FEMA has extended the deadline for people seeking federal help as a result of the Hill, and Woolsey brush fires in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.

The deadline was January 31st, but it’s now been changed to February 15th.

The first in a series of what could be three storms has arrived on the Central and South Coasts, but so far there are no watches or warnings for dangerous conditions in the region’s brush fire burn zones. The storm could drop one to three inches of rain in the region, with the heaviest rainfall coming during the Friday evening and Saturday early morning hours.

Get ready for a string of storms on the Central and South Coasts. Four storms could sweep through the region between now, and the middle of next week. But, at this point it’s too early to say there could be issues in brush fire burn zones.

With the big holiday travel rush underway, there are some weather questions about Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, with some rain possible for the Central and South Coasts. Meteorologists say it should be sunny Saturday and Sunday, with breezy conditions in spots. On Christmas Eve, we will see increasing clouds, and a chance of rain into Christmas Day.

We’re less than a week from Christmas, and while it’s a time of joy for most of us, it’s a different story for thousands of people who just lost their homes to the Woolsey brush fire.

Some members of the community are stepping up in different ways to help those hard hit by the fire.  In one of the latest efforts, some biking businesses and enthusiasts are giving hundreds of bicycles to fire victims.

The State Insurance Commissioner says this fall’s deadly brush fires in Northern and Southern California have caused $9 billion dollars in losses. The three fires were the deadliest and costliest in the state’s history.

Businesses that were damaged or destroyed or othewise impacted by the Woolsey and Hill fires can now get the help they need. Secretary of State Alex Padilla has launched a new web portal to provide information and resources to businesses affected by wildfires.

It can be difficult for business owners who have had their business records, insurance and employment and other information lost, damaged or destroyed by a brush fire.

Two famous comedians are the latest to step up to help people affected by the Woolsey Brush Fire and the Borderline Bar and Grill attack. Howie Mandel and Ventriloquist Jeff Dunham will headline a December 22nd benefit show in Thousand Oaks.

The Hill Fire in Ventura County is now completely contained, but there are big questions about what started it.

Investigators say they’ve been able to rule out accidental causes for the 4500 acre blaze, and now think some type of human activity triggered the fire.

While an army of firefighters continues to fight the massive Woolsey brush fire, a second blaze in the region could be contained Thursday.

The Hill Fire started in Ventura County last Thursday, and at one point caused the closure of Highway 101 over the Conejo Grade.

(HSVC Photo)

It wasn’t just hundreds of thousands of people forced to evacuate in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties due to the Woolsey and Hill brush fires.

Thousands of animals have also been impacted.

Firefighters are trying to get a handle on the boundaries of the two major brush fires they are facing in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.  The rugged terrain complicates mapping efforts, but the acreage numbers are 70,000 acres for the Woolsey Fire, and 4500 acres for the Hill Fire as of 8 a.m. Saturday.

More than 200,000 people are impacted by mandatory evacuation orders.