Thomas Fire almost surrounds Ojai, California

Wednesday night the fire spread further up the coast toward Carpinteria

(UPDATED at 8:24 p.m. PST December 7, 2017)

The northeast and northwest sides of the Thomas Fire continued to be very active again on Thursday. Fire authorities said 427 structures in Ventura have been destroyed and at least 85 more were damaged. Approximately 12 were destroyed in unincorporated areas of Ventura County. Ojai is becoming even more boxed in by the fire, but so far that community and Carpinteria, where the blaze is knocking on the southern boundary of the city, have avoided any large losses in the fire.

(All articles about the Thomas Fire on Wildfire Today are tagged “Thomas Fire”.)

The additional area burned Thursday brings the total number of acres up to approximately 129,000 according to our estimates. At 6:30 p.m. CAL FIRE was calling it 115,000 acres.

Until the strong Santa Ana winds subside, there is not a lot that firefighters can do to stop major spread of the fire.

map thomas fire
The red line on the map of the Thomas Fire was the perimeter at 10 p.m. PST December 6, 2017. The red dots represent heat detected by a satellite in the 12-hour period ending at 8 p.m. PST December 7, 2017. Click to enlarge.

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(UPDATED at 1:15 p.m. PST December 7, 2017 to include a better map below)

Strong winds Wednesday night from the east and northeast continued to push the Thomas Fire further to the west and north. It spread along the coast toward Carpinteria and as of 2 a.m. Thursday was about a mile south of Highway 150 where the road enters the city.

The fire also moved around Ojai on the north side, blazing a new path to the west two miles wide by eight miles long and crossing, again, Highway 33 northwest of the city. Ojai is now surrounded on three sides by the Thomas Fire.

Click on the map below to see a larger version.

map Thomas fire December 6 2017
The red line was the perimeter of the Thomas Fire at 10 p.m. PST December 6, 2017. The yellow line was the approximate perimeter at 1 a.m. PST December 5. Click to enlarge.

The Ventura County Fire Department is calling it 96,000 acres, but we think it was least 112,000 acres when the data for the map above was collected at 10 p.m. December 6. The unofficial threshold for a fire to obtain “megafire” status is 100,000 acres… so, it qualifies.

Wednesday night a weather station at Oxnard recorded east and northeast winds of 12 to 27 mph gusting up to 32 mph.

Evacuations have been ordered for areas near Carpinteria and Ojai.

red flag weather
Weather stations in the Los Angeles area that meet the Red Flag Warning criteria at 6:10 a.m. PST December 7, 2017.

Articles on Wildfire Today about this fire are tagged Thomas Fire.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, Bill Gabbert now writes about it from the Black Hills.

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17 thoughts on “Thomas Fire almost surrounds Ojai, California”

  1. Thank you wildfiretoday.com for finally providing a real time scenario for thousands of people who are still in the dark about what is happening up there. Why cannot ANY of the MAJOR news stations report something useful??????

    1. Agree! Appreciating this very much.
      Can’t believe the waste of video the ‘news’ are doing. Selfie-reporting in their new wildland fashion ensembles. What’s wrong with regular clothes to do a report? Aren’t they confusing everyone out there dressed like first responders? They should be wearing the old PRESS vests so everyone knows instantly at a glance. Meanwhile it’s not informative to watch long lingering minutes of one house burning with breathless narrative of ‘awww’ the ‘stove’ the ‘chair’. (not making that up). The big networks just want an excitable stream of jumping around scary two-second clips. Everyone needs the clear, up-to-date info and the big view to see where’s safe, where’s not.

    2. hey dont seem to understand what we really want to see,thy want the sensational storyies,not the truth of what happening,luckly in the Sacramento area,we have reporters who come from fire fighting families,or were fire fighters themselves at some point,so we get pretty good and on target reporting.thats very few of them though..lol

    3. Getting any accurate, usable updates did not happen. I live in the The big networks can only get into the area after the fire. We live in East End of Ojai, we were surrounded on 3 1/2 sides of walls of fire. You can’t update what you can’t keep up with, you can’t comprehend how fast this fire can move. It’s very hard to see on maps the communities in the region. One road in and two 2 roads out, steep, dark winding, long roads. The fire trucks, the heavy equipment, the media, the support staff, the smoke, the electric line trucks are all factors that you can’t comprehend until your in it. The amazing job of just organizing the separate entities working together to save our lives and homes is indescribable. We have seen amazing men and women do amazing hard emotional work . They are in danger and away from loved ones. Please understand they are all doing the very best they can. Be diligent with your own surrounding, stay alert to the weather and get out and off the roads so fire, electric, and emergency people can do their jobs. Thank you for all the hard work everyone is doing. Our home has been spared so far but many many families are without homes please do something if your able, anything positive makes a difference. God bless and thank you.

  2. I am very grateful for the real time reporting . been looking at fire perimeter maps in relation to my sisters house on creek rd in ojai and eventually realized my adrenaline spikes were base on one or two day old info. I echo the above thoughts of people frustrated with the media. It’s become such a tawdry profession.

  3. I’m in Vermont my daughter lives in Ojai. I haven’t heard from her in a few hours. How close to the valley is the fire? I’m out of my mind with fear for her and for all of you.
    The news I find is not specific to Ojai valley.

    1. Theres a site where people can be listed as safe. My friends are on meyer rd off rice road. They may be evacuating. Nursing home in ojai evacuated and ojai school ecacuated as a safe zone.

    2. My daughter lives there also. According to all I’ve read,all of Ojai is evacuated and no deaths have been reported. Best wishes and hope you hear from her soon.

  4. It’s very difficult to get much up to date news since so much of the fire is dispersed over a very wide area and burning on several fronts. The town of Ojai is still okay but they are surrounded by fires and winds will pick up tonight.
    Best to follow Ventura County and the town of Ojai on FB/Instagram.

  5. Searching for current, up-to-date fire information for Ojai has been impossible during this widespread ordeal for thousands of Ojai residents. Virtually all so-called ‘news’ was well past the use date causing great distress and anxiety at a time when Ojains were dealing with the personal, immediate drama of the very dangerous situation. All online inquiries re: Ojai fire updates were directed to Ventura information. Reading that your city is “surrounded by fire” with zero specific informtion is less than helpful. The Red Cross, however, were exemplary in service to the evacuated citizens at the Nordhoff High School evacuation center. Kudos, and many thanks to all who served in this capacity. Also, hats off to the tireless fire fighters who worked 36 hour shifts to save us and our city.

  6. I go to VC Star in Ventura (kids fled to SD but now smoke there) but wish they’d stop their pop-up ads and open all news to non-subscribers out of state looking for info on realtives! All stations from NYC are useless during this time and LA starts caring only about its celebrities when it hits there.

  7. I agree that any fire is unbelievably fickle, difficult to follow, and mired in a number of logistical problems. However, having come through the Columbia Gorge fire just months earlier I became aware that following the outline of activity is possible every single second from space via remote sensing. We got daily up-to-date satellite maps of the Eagle Creek Fire even though it was in almost complete wilderness & steep canyons. Given the sheer amount of talent that lives in and around Los Angeles it was unbelievable how little information was available.

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