A California wildfire that began on Monday in the foothills near Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula has blazed through Ventura County, currently consuming over 65,000 acres and reaching the Pacific Ocean unchecked.
— Sarah Parvini (@sarahparvini) December 6, 2017
Thick smoke is seen streaming from several fires, including the #CreekFire, in southern California in this @NASAEarth satellite view from this afternoon. Take a look: https://t.co/xXJl4Vx6mr pic.twitter.com/uz3dlB4FQv
— NASA (@NASA) December 5, 2017
Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency, and over 27,000 people have been forced to evacuate their homes. Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Kevin Donoghue told The Los Angeles Times, “The burn area is pretty much all the mountains between Ventura and Ojai and extending east to Santa Paula. It’s a challenge because of the enormity of it, and it’s a challenge because it’s pretty rugged terrain.”
According to The Los Angeles Times, on Tuesday evening the fire jumped Highway 33, burning its way through oil fields before crossing the 101 Freeway into Solimar Beach. Power outages, curfews, school closings and even the temporary loss of Ojai’s water system are just a few of the massive issues the area has faced since Monday.
A separate fire in Los Angeles County also closed parts of Interstate 405 on Wednesday morning.
— Marcus Yam (@yamphoto) December 5, 2017
Ventura (and the surrounding area) is an iconic California surf town, being home to Patagonia’s headquarters, pro surfer Dane Reynolds and the reeling righthand pointbreak at C-Street. Just across the nearby county line with Santa Barbara is home to pro surfer Conner Coffin, Channel Islands Surfboards and Rincon.
Needless to say, this is an important surf mecca and the blaze is endangering surfers and the like. Patagonia employees were instructed to evacuate on Tuesday. A few surf industries stalwarts chimed in on social media to give an update on their own safety as well as the surrounding area.
A few close friends are risking their lives battling the fire storm in Ventura right now, one of the craziest in the county's history. The fire crews are doing all they can to save homes and residents. Thankfully our friends and immediate family are evacuated and safe for now but unfortunately some have lost their entire home. One of our fire crew buddies advised staying vigilant and still watching for embers that sail for miles and land on the roof. Hose down your zone periodically he says but have a bike ready to get out at moments notice … because you may not make it out by car due to congestion. Times like these remind us that all of life's bullshit means nothing. One love.
For those in need :: Hard to hear how torn apart my home town Ojai is also. Trusting in Mother Nature and all her ways, replenishing the soils and unfortunately those in reach. God is good and so are His plans. Feeling a little helpless from far away but knowing my family made the right choice to leave in time is comforting. Heavy hearts for those less fortunate at this time. Thank you for the calls and texts, my house is still powerless and evacuated. These mountains are with in 2 miles of my house.
With estimates at the time of this report state that zero percent of the fire is contained, this is going to get much worse before it gets any better.
Here a few things you can do if you’d like to help those displaced and affected:
– The Salvation Army Ventura Corps has set-up at the Ventura Fairgrounds to take donations of clothes, food, water and more. Monetary donations are also accepted on their website.
– The Red Cross is accepting applications for volunteers. Monetary donations can also be made on their website.
– Supplies, donations and monetary support are accepted by the Humane Society of Ventura County and the Los Angeles County Animal Care Foundation.
Stay tuned to GrindTV for more information on this story. Our thoughts go out to all of those affected.
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