Here’s the latest VIIRS data, on the most active parts of the Thomas Fire, mapped on Google Earth Pro:That’s 1830 Mountain Standard Time, or 5:30pm Pacific. About half an hour ago as I write this.
Our home is in the orange Voluntary Evacuation area, and we made a round trip from LA to prepare the house as best we could, gather some stuff and go. Here’s a photo album of the trip, and one of the last sights we saw on our way out of town:
This, I believe, was a fire break created on the up-slope side of Toro Canyon.
This afternoon I caught a community meeting broadcast on KEYT, Santa Barbara’s local TV station, which has been very aggressive and responsible in reporting on the fire. I can’t find a recording of that now on the site, but am watching the station’s live 6pm news broadcast, which is carrying a news conference at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. (Even though I’m currently at a house near Los Angeles, I can watch our TV set top box remotely through a system called Dish Anywhere. Hats off to Dish Network for providing that ability. In addition to being cool, it’s exceptionally handy for evacuated residents whose homes still have electricity and an Internet connection. And I thank Cox for that one.)
Mark Brown with Cal Fire just spoke about plans A, B and C, depending on how the weather moves. Plan C is the scariest (and he called it that), because it involves setting fire lines close to homes, intentionally scorching several thousand acres, to create an already burned break, to stop the fire. “The vegetation will be removed before the fire has a chance to take it out, the way it wants to take it out.”
Okay, that just ended.
So everybody reading this knows, we are fine, and don’t need to be at the house while this is going on. We also have great faith that 8000 fire fighting personnel and all their support systems will do the job and save our South Coast communities. What they’ve done so far has been nothing short of amazing, given the enormous geographical range of this fire, the nature of the terrain, and the record dryness of the vegetation, and the whole region. A huge hat tip to them.