"It Looks Like A War Zone" - Californians Describe Thomas Fire's Devastation

Now the third-largest wildfire in California history, the Thomas Fire has blazed through Ventura and Santa Barbara counties since it exploded into existence two weeks ago under mysterious circumstances.

With Cal Fire ordering thousands more people in Santa Barbara to evacuate as dry conditions and powerful winds help feed the flames, which were barely 40% contained as of Sunday. Twelve thousand people were evacuated in Santa Barbara County, with animals at the local zoo threatened as well. Santa Barbara Zoo closed Saturday and many animals were placed into cages in case of possible evacuations, zoo officials said.

Meanwhile, residents who had evacuated their homes in Ventura County, where the fire began, were allowed to return Saturday.



The fire is so massive that more than 8,400 firefighters are working around the clock to save lives and contain it. It's bigger in acreage than New York City, and has turned neighborhoods to piles of soot and concrete as it churns through the area.



At least five of the six wildfires that ignited two weeks ago were still active as of Sunday, according to CNN. But the Thomas Fire is by far the biggest, as the map below illustrates.

Here’s a roundup of the latest developments from CNN and Cal Fire:

  • Cause of death: Firefighter Cory David Iverson, 32, died of "thermal injuries and smoke inhalation," according to autopsy results from the Ventura County medical examiner's office. Iverson lost his life battling the Thomas Fire on Thursday. A total of two people have been killed since the fire started.
  • Hefty price tag: About $110 million has been spent fighting the massive blaze, fire officials said. It was 40% contained Saturday night.
  • Improving weather conditions: Santa Ana winds did not immediately materialize on Sunday morning, though firefighters had been expecting the worst. Red-flag warnings were in effect for a large swath of Southern California through late Sunday, with wind gusts of up to 55 mph expected overnight, according to CNN meteorologist Gene Norman.
  • In the record books: The blaze has charred 267,500 acres and is now the third-largest wildfire in modern California history.

Residents who spoke with CNN described being taken by surprise, as the wildfires spread faster than many expected. Residents described being awoken in the middle of the night by fire and police officials assisting in evacuation efforts.

Jeannette Frescas was not concerned about the Thomas Fire until the massive blaze reached her neighborhood in Ventura, California.


"At midnight, I woke up with a flashlight in my face," Frescas told CNN affiliate KEYT. "I looked out my window and there were flames that were like, a hundred feet, all around us."


Like many residents, Frescas was caught off guard by the fire that has roared across Southern California for 13 days. She's one of tens of thousands of residents who piled into cars and fled as ferocious winds drove the third-largest blaze in modern state history through Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.


"What was once a paradise was like a war zone," Frescas said of her apartment complex, which was destroyed by the blaze. "It's the scariest thing I've been through in my entire life."

One resident described being woken up by her son in law and told that she needed to grab her stuff and go - immediately.

Ventura resident Patricia Rye woke up to her son-in-law pounding on her door. She didn't get a chance to pack any valuables, and fled her home of 17 years in the dead of the night.


"I didn't have time to take anything," Rye told the affiliate. "My wallet, or any of my personal things. I literally left with the clothes on my back. If I had been thinking I would have got into my car, but I wasn't thinking so my car was there."

The Thomas fire alone has caused well over $100 million in damage, though authorities likely won’t have a final figure for weeks, if not months. An extended stretch without rain has allowed the fires to burn without any significant natural impediments.


GUS100CORRINA SubjectivObject Sun, 12/17/2017 - 20:06 Permalink

"It Looks Like A War Zone" - Californians Describe Thomas Fire's DevastationMy response: WOW!! Talk about GLOBAL WARMING on STEROIDS.Unbelievable and VERY SAD that MARXIST PROGRESSIVE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS have allowed this kind of devastation to take place because of poor environmental land management policies. Over a year ago, I saw some videos where people were warning about thick, dry underbrush that needed to be thinned out and cleaned up in virtually all forested areas.What should have been done is to allow LUMBER COMPANIES to go into these forested areas and CUT DOWN SOME DAMN TREES and thin out the forested areas! Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot about EPA "OVERREGULATION" that prevented a thinning process from occurring.

In reply to by SubjectivObject

Slack Jack virgule Sun, 12/17/2017 - 22:43 Permalink

Record-Setting Hurricanes; Record temperatures; Record-Setting Wildfires; ya think it might be global warming?


So, why is the global rise in temperatures so worrisome?

For one thing, as temperatures rise good farmland will become desert (e.g., dust-bowl conditions will probably return to the American Midwest).

Another major problem is sea-level rise.

Have a look at http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs2-00/

The U.S. Geological Survey people claim that;

The Greenland ice sheet melting will raise sea-level 6.55 meters (21.5 feet),
the West Antarctica ice sheet melting will raise sea-level 8.06 meters (26.4 feet),
the East Antarctica ice sheet melting will raise sea-level 64.8 meters (212.6 feet),
and all other ice melting will raise sea-level 0.91 meters (3 feet).

For a grand total of about 80 meters (263 feet).

So, what does an 80 meter (263 feet) rise in sea-level mean. Have a look at the following map of the world after an 80 meter rise. It means that over one billion people will have to be resettled to higher ground and that much of the most productive agricultural land will be under water. Fortunately, at current rates, the Greenland ice sheet will take over a thousand years to melt and the Antarctica ice sheet, much longer. However, the greater the temperature rise the faster the ice sheets will melt, bringing the problem much closer. Remember, the huge ice sheet that recently covered much of North America, almost completely melted in only 15,000 years (today, only the Greenland ice sheet, and some other small patches of it, remain). Since then (15,000 years ago), sea-levels have risen about 125 meters (410 feet), only 80 meters to go.

The ice sheets have been continuously melting for thousands of years. What is left of them today, is still melting, and will continue to melt. Human caused global warning will cause this remnant to melt significantly faster. This is a big, big, problem.

For HUGE detailed maps of the "World after the Melt" go to:


Global temperatures are increasing. And by quite a lot each year.

2016 is the hottest year on record for global temperatures.

This is 0.0380 degrees centigrade hotter than the previous record year which was 2015.

0.0380 is a large increase in just one year.

2015 was the hottest year (at that time) for global temperatures.

This was 0.1601 degrees hotter than the previous record year which was 2014.

0.1601 is an absolutely huge increase in just one year (at this rate temperatures would increase by 16 degrees in a century).

2014 was the hottest year (at that time) for global temperatures.

This was 0.0402 degrees hotter than the previous record year which was 2010.


The conspiracy to hide global warming data.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is given tax money to make global temperature records available to the public. However, certain people at NOAA continually sabotage this aspect of NOAA's mandate. For example, these people have (deliberately) sabotaged the web-page that delivers the temperature records.

Look for yourself:

Go to the page: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/monitoring-references/faq/anomalies.php scroll down to the The Global Anomalies and Index Data section and click the download button and see what happens. Well, you get the message:

"Not Found. The requested URL /monitoring-references/faq/anomalies-download was not found on this server."

I guess that the 2017 data must be truly horrible if they have to hide it away.


In reply to by virgule

LightBeamCowboy GUS100CORRINA Sun, 12/17/2017 - 22:18 Permalink

Relatively little of these southern California fires are burning in anything of commercial value. It's just dense brush you can't even graze goats on. Clearing or thinning huge areas of brush by hand is massively expensive and out of the question to fund. In the parts of California where logging is being done, clearcutting leaves large areas of young trees that are extremely vulnerable to fire. You're the second comment I've seen here saying that *not* logging is the reason for these fires and logging is the answer. I have thirty years of living in logging country and closely following the results, including fire conflagrations in the replanted areas. I'm not saying don't log, I'm saying current logging practices make the fire problem worse.

In reply to by GUS100CORRINA

LightBeamCowboy A Sentinel Sun, 12/17/2017 - 22:06 Permalink

Hate to break the news to you but the clearcutting or even-aged management currently practiced leaves the forest even more susceptible to fire after than before. Tightly spaced sapling trees in the replanted areas burn really, really good. There are thousands of acres of such burned-up baby trees, 5 to 30 years old, in my part of Oregon. Conversely, well-managed forest with most of the trees old enough to have their first branches twenty feet or more off the ground and the forest floor regularly cleansed in prescribed burns are the most fire-resistant. But that requires selective cutting and the logging industry's high-line logging equipment can't do a selective cut.

In reply to by A Sentinel

junction silverer Sun, 12/17/2017 - 19:13 Permalink

Those space-based particle beam weapons are getting a workout.  Gotta keep those fires burning, a news distraction, or people will start asking about that helicopter at the Route 91 Harvest Festival loaded with 5.56 mm SAW machine gun toting mercenaries.  A helicopter that looked like a Maverick sight seeing helicopter only its transponder signature and IFF squawk identified it as a Southwest Airlines passenger jet. 

In reply to by silverer

Ms No shitshitshit Mon, 12/18/2017 - 00:17 Permalink

So would you care to explain how you know more than these other scientists, military techs and biologists about how these specific components affect the environment.  Are you certain that aluminum oxide or these other components wouldn't cause easier combustion once absorbed into plants?  Please enlighten us all.  P.S.  You should really find somebody else to fuck with right now.  Just being honest but by all means push it if you want. 

In reply to by shitshitshit

ClassicalLib17 Catahoula Sun, 12/17/2017 - 19:49 Permalink

Yada yada yada... This is just like the florida development scams of an earlier era... except we're talkin' fire instead of rain in this case. Doesn't that entire area have a long history of fires? Or, imagine the plight of those poor investors in the "Leaning" Millenium Tower of San Francisco, a building that was allowed to set their caissons on sand at 80 feet rather than the bedrock at another 100'+ below. That is a much slower and painful death unfolding before their eyes...

In reply to by Catahoula

Son of Loki Sun, 12/17/2017 - 18:50 Permalink

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Jerry Brown has been so preoccupied by his trips abroad to undercut our president, who has time to focus on domestic issues in his home state?   And then there’s Gov Brown’s Multi-Billion Dollar Bullet Rail form the Mexican Border to his Sanctuary Cities.   Oh yes, then there’s caring for the Sanctuaries over Cali citizens.   So, so busy…..no time for putting out fires.