woolsey fire

Some poets from the South Coast are coming together this weekend for an event featuring works related to the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, and the Montecito debris flow. More than two dozen poets are expected to take part in a reading beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday, at Westmont College in Montecito.

Southern California Edison has reached a $360 million dollar settlement to compensate government agencies like Ventura County for costs, and losses associated with two major wildfires. The deal includes 23 public agencies in the region, and includes compensation for Edison’s role in the Thomas and Woolsey Fires, as well as the Montecito debris flow.

It’s dusk, and a very special gathering is taking place at a little known spot in the Santa Monica Mountains. More than 50 people are sipping on wine, and eating snack as they socialize on the banks on Malibou Lake. The conversation is friendly and lively, but the occasion is not. The people are commemorating the disaster which was happening here a year ago.

Officials with Edison International say it appears their equipment was responsible for the start of the destructive Woolsey Fire, which burned nearly 100,000 acres of land in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties. Edison International CEO Pedro Pizarro talked about the investigation on a conference call with investors.

Last November, Thousand Oaks was rocked by the Borderline Shooting, which was immediately followed by the Woolsey fire.

As the one year anniversary nears, members of the community are coming together to tell their stories.

A state program to remove debris from more than 900 properties ravaged by the Hill, and Woolsey Fires is now complete. The State’s Consolidated Debris Removal program coordinated cleanup of debris, and toxic materials from homes and other buildings destroyed by the November, 2018 fires.

A popular South Coast trail has completely reopened eight months after it was hit hard by the massive Woolsey brush fire. The nearly 100,000 acre blaze last November killed three people and destroyed more than 1600 structures. It also damaged parts of the 67 mile long Backbone Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation area.

Courtesy Department of Transportation

It’s been more than eight months since the Woolsey Fire, and infrastructure on the south coast is still recovering from the damage.

Part of that recovery is emergency repairs starting Monday on a section of Highway 101 in Agoura Hills between Reyes Adobe and Kanan Roads.

A storm system bringing what could be record rainfall for this time of year has arrived on the Central Coast, and will spread to the South Coast overnight Wednesday.  But, no serious problems like major debris flows are expected in brush fire burn zones.

Meteorologists say we are still on track to get around a half inch of rain on the coast, and up to two inches in our mountain, and foothill areas.

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.

Keep your umbrella handy. You may need it for the next few days, with everything from sprinkles to locally heavy rain possible for the Central and South Coasts.

The forecast is going to be a tricky one, with a low pressure system over Nevada backsliding our way.

A Ventura County Air Unit helicopter dips low over a brush covered hill behind the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, dropping water near dozens of firefighters creating a fire break. It’s all for show, to raise awareness about the brush fire threat. But, firefighters on the Central and South Coasts are already starting to deal with the real thing.

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.

In what would be an otherwise quiet Ventura County neighborhood, a huge excavator is chewing through a giant pile of debris. It’s dropping scoop after scoop of rubble into a parade of waiting dump trucks.

The rubble is the remains of one of the more than 1500 structures destroyed by the Hill and Woolsey fires in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties.

An actor and singer who’s perhaps best known for his role in the iconic movie “Forrest Gump” is hosting a free show in Ventura County this weekend to honor public safety first responders. Gary Sinise and his Lt. Dan Band will host what’s being called the “Concert For Defenders” Saturday at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks.