Goleta, Calif., January 12, 2018 — For Immediate Release from the U.S. Forest Service, the following is the latest information on the Thomas Fire:
Start Date: December 4, 2017
Cause: Under Investigation
Size: 281,893 acres
Structures Destroyed: 1,063
Structures Damaged: 280
Current Situation: After the over flights yesterday, the Thomas Fire is now at 100% containment. The forest closures within the footprint of the Thomas Fire remain in effect until further assessments can be made and deemed safe for the public to re-enter.
Los Padres National Forest would like to thank all the first responders and cooperators that responded to this incident over the last month and giving up the opportunity to spend the holidays with their families and the sacrifices they made. We would also like to thank the local and surrounding communities for their understanding and support during this time.
Wildfires exacerbate the potential for debris flow and are most likely to occur during high intensity rainfall. Debris flows can be extremely dangerous. There is currently a closure order that covers the burned area and surrounding areas as well.
This order includes trails within the burned area. Please adhere to the closure order and stay out of the forest until Los Padres National Forest deems it safe for the public to reenter the area. Also, please be mindful of any notices and warnings put out by our cooperators, Santa Barbara Office of Emergency Services and Ventura County Office of Emergency Management.
The Los Padres National Forest is closed to the public within the Thomas Fire perimeter on the Santa Barbara and Ojai Ranger Districts. The Sage Hill Group Campground is temporarily closed while fire crews use the area as a base camp.
Level 3 fire restrictions are in effect for the Los Padres National Forest. Campfires are allowed only in designated-use sites, and no fires are allowed in the backcountry; portable stoves and lanterns (with an on-off switch) are only permitted with a valid California Campfire Permit.
The federal Burn Area Emergency Response (BAER) team and California Watershed Emergency Response Team (WERT) are assessing areas within the Thomas Fire for burn severity and identifying locations at risk for flooding, debris flows and other post-fire hazards.
The teams will turn over their data to Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management and Ventura County Office of Emergency Services, who will develop emergency preparedness and response plans for their respective communities.
County-based emergency service agencies are reviewing assessment reports from the BAER and WERT teams and working on emergency preparation plans for affected communities. After a wildfire, flood risk is usually highest until vegetation returns, which can take up to five years.
Flood preparation information is available at www.countyofsb.org/pwd/floodprep.sbc for Santa Barbara County and www.venturacountyrecovers.org for Ventura County.
Flood Preparation: Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties are posting flood preparation and recovery information on the following websites: