Drought, Wind and Fire 

Tens of thousands of people evacuated their homes in Ventura; 150 buildings burned and thousands more along the hillside and into downtown are threatened.


Official Map of the Thomas Fire
The number of horses killed at a thoroughbred training facility during North County’s Lilac wildfire has risen to 46
Second Time In a Month

California burns in wildfires driven by wind and drought. For the second time in two months, wind-driven fires are tearing through California communities. So far, rows of homes and a psychiatric hospital lie in ruins and tens of thousands of people have fled for their lives. (dw.com/Reuters)

North Coast Region

Artists for Recovery Victims

Sonoma County.  Artists draw together at Schulz Museum for North Bay fire relief. Some of the Bay Area’s most hailed graphic novelists, cartoonists and authors — including Dave Eggers, Raina Telgemeier and Stephan Pastis — are converging at Santa Rosa’s Charles M. Schulz Museum on Saturday, Dec. 9, to raise money to support victims of the recent wildfires in Sonoma County. – (Photo: Santiago Mejia, Special To The Chronicle)

Not the Smoke You Want

Wildfires devastate California pot farmers, who must rebuild without banks or insurance. “She was among hundreds of growers — big and small, fully permitted, semi-legal and pure outlaw — devastated by the fires in Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties. Their losses illustrate how, despite new laws to make the industry legal in California, many farmers remain uninsured and trapped in a cash economy that leaves them vulnerable to natural disasters.” – (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Central Coast

Massive Thomas Fire

California’s Thomas Fire Has Burned an Area the Size of New York. Thomas Fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, has reportedly scorched an area the size of New York City. As of Sunday evening the fire has burned 230,000 acres since it began, and is the fifth largest fire in recorded state history. – (Photo: CAL Fire)

Ellen and Montecito Celebrities Forced to Evacuate

Ellen DeGeneres Evacuates as California Wildfires Spread Through Santa Barbara County. DeGeneres and her wife Portia de Rossi live in Montecito, an area where many celebrities own homes, including Patrick Stewart, Jane Seymour, Oprah Winfrey, Jeff Bridges and former Vice President Al Gore. Residents there were told to evacuate as the Thomas Fire, which has burned 170,000 acres, has threatened homes in the area. The fire, which began in Ventura County, has pushed into Santa Barbara county. – (SF Gate)

South Coast Region

Ojai Neighbors Brace for the Worst

Ventura County. Ojai, Calif., Ringed by Flames, Is an Ash-Covered Shangri-La. Ojai, about 90 miles northwest of Los Angeles, has long been a haven for nature lovers, spiritual seekers, artists, stressed-out urban exiles and Hollywood celebrities, all of whom felt protected by the pleasant valley surroundings and pure air. But for the last few days, Ojai has been at the center of the largest of several wildfires ravaging Southern California. The Thomas Fire, which has resulted in at least one death, has chewed through more than 140,000 acres in Ventura County, fanned by unpredictable winds that have battered coastal areas and inland communities like Ojai. (Credit Hilary Swift for The New York Time)

Not Quite Miller Time, Yet

In Ojai, people stock up on gas, water and beer. Many residents in the town of 7,500 had already fled by Tuesday afternoon, worried that the few highways out would be choked with traffic if the flames got closer. Some who stayed were preparing for the worst. (SF Gate)


Ventura Hillside Homes Threatened

The Firestorm This Time: Why Los Angeles Burns. Tens of thousands of people evacuated their homes in Ventura; 150 buildings burned and thousands more along the hillside and into downtown are threatened. (wired.com)



Shortening Cycle of Disasters

Los Angeles County. Doom Season in Los Angeles. Californians live in an increasingly precarious balance with the flora and fauna that surround us. Last winter’s rains brought brush and hillside grasses back to life, but they didn’t resurrect the more than 102 million trees killed by five years of drought; each one becomes kindling for future blazes. Meanwhile, new subdivisions keep being built in traditional fire corridors. The fire season after a wet winter is always an especially dangerous time in Southern California. As the brush grows thicker it can feed powerful flames; they sweep down the same routes in the San Gabriel and Santa Monica Mountains that packs of coyotes follow to prey on our dogs and cats. We’ve pushed the landscape to the limits of human habitation. (Credit- Hilary Swift for The New York Times)

Creek Fire Prompts Prayers

Wildfires Rage Across Southern California, 200K Evacuate. Firefighters battle to save one of many homes burning in an early-morning Creek Fire that broke out in the Kagel Canyon area in the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles, in Sylmar, California, U.S., December 5, 2017. (The Daily Beast)

Raw Power of the Lilac Fire

San Diego County. Lilac Fire Pictures And Videos Show Blaze Near San Diego California. A fast-moving wildfire broke out in San Diego County Thursday, quickly consuming 2,500 acres, officials said. The Lilac Fire was zero percent contained late Thursday afternoon and had destroyed 20 structures. Another 1,000 were threatened. The fire began along Interstate 15 and State Route 76. Photos and videos from the scene showed flames nearing the highway as smoke billowed throughout the region. (ibtimes.com)

Bewildered Thoroughbreds Scatter In North County

Thoroughbred death toll rises to 46 from wildfire. The number of horses killed at a thoroughbred training facility during North County’s Lilac wildfire has risen to 46, a spokesman for the California Horse Racing Board said Saturday morning. Many horses from San Luis Rey Downs are among several hundred living temporarily at the Del Mar Fairgrounds after fleeing the wildfire. (sandiegouniontribune.com)

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