Thomas Fire Burn Area

The Thomas fire started on December 4, 2017 and burned approximately 281,893 acres across Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. Post-fire soil conditions in areas adjacent to mountains and hills are well known for their ability to produce rock and debris flows. These rock and debris flow form rapidly, and the outcome is often devastating during high-intensity rainfall. Additionally, areas that are not typically prone to flooding may now be at new risk due to higher than usual flows in nearby streams and creeks.

Hazard Zones

Due to its massive size, the Thomas Fire burn area has been divided into 10 zones. The purpose of zoning the burn area is to enable public safety officials the ability to address evolving conditions both before and during a rain event. Geographical zones have been devised based on several factors including contributing watershed, hazard type, and jurisdiction. Please click on the link below to access the zone for your area:

 Evacuation Terminology

 

Mandatory Evacuation

  • Mandatory Evacuation Orders may be initiated by law enforcement, Fire Departments, Public Health Agencies, and in rare cases some federal agencies when residents are requested to vacate the area due to an imminent threat.All non-essential persons are requested to leave the area immediately.
  • Conditions exist that SERIOUSLY IMPERIL or ENDANGER the lives of those in the defined area.
  • The danger is IMMINENT!
  • Generally, residents will not be forcibly removed from their own property however those found to be on public property including roadways and public parks may be subject to removal from the area.
  • Once out of the area, the general public (including residents) will not be permitted to return until conditions permit.
  • Any non-essential persons found by officials traveling through, or loitering in, the area will be escorted out and not permitted to re-enter the area. Those found to be interfering with the disaster response are SUBJECT TO ARREST.
  • Utility workers in work vehicles including Southern California Edison, the Gas Company, etc shall be permitted beyond closures for official business only.
  • Subsequent to §409.5(d) p.c., nothing shall prevent a duly authorized representative of any news service, newspaper, or radio or television station or network from entering the area unless the area is determined to be a crime scene.

Voluntary Evacuation

  • Voluntary Evacuations may be initiated by law enforcement, Fire Departments, Public Health Agencies, and in rare cases federal agencies. Voluntary Evacuation orders are issued when residents should begin preparing for a potential mandatory evacuation order to be issued.Access to the area under a voluntary evacuation order may or may not restricted by a soft or hard closure.
  • The threat to lives is NOT YET IMMINENT.
  • Due to the potential for rapidly changing conditions to develop into a serious threat, residents are advised to prepare for the issuance of an evacuation order.
  • Residents should prepare personal belongings including pets and livestock for evacuation.
  • Advance measures should be taken to prevent harm to individuals with mobility issues or other types of access and functional needs.

Shelter-in-Place Order

  • Conditions exist that may ENDANGER the lives of those in a defined area.
  • Access to the area under a shelter in place order may or may not be restricted by a soft or hard closure.
  • Residents should select an interior room or rooms within their home or business with no or few windows, and taking refuge there.

Hard Road Closure

  • Law enforcement will prevent the general public from entering the area on foot or by vehicle.
  • In the case of a long-term closure, barricades may be used to maintain the closure in lieu of law enforcement personnel.
  • Subsequent to §409.5(d) p.c., nothing shall prevent a duly authorized representative of any news service, newspaper, or radio or television station or network from entering the area unless it is a secured crime scene.

Soft Road Closure

  • Law enforcement will prevent the general public from entering the area.
  • Those residents who reside in the impacted area will be allowed access with ID.